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Exploring the untold stories of families enslaved in Louisiana

The Old Plantation. Attributed to John Rose, Beaufort County, South Carolina, 1785-1790
The Old Plantation. Attributed to John Rose, Beaufort County, South Carolina, 1785-1790

This Saturday, the East Baton Rouge Parish Library will hold a day-long symposium examining the efforts of genealogists to uncover the untold stories of families enslaved in Louisiana. Much of the symposium will be based on research by Rachel Swarns, a professor at New York University, a contributing writer for The New York Times and the author of The 272: The Families Who Were Enslaved and Sold to Build the American Catholic Church.

Swarns, who will deliver Saturday’s keynote address, joins us to discuss how she uncovered stories many thought were lost to history. She is joined by David Laatsch, genealogy librarian in the special collections department at the East Baton Rouge Parish Library.

This weekend, the Manship Theatre in Baton Rouge will present a dance performance that explores mothering while Black. The storytelling takes the lens of mothers of youth who have been victims of violence, and addresses the social issues of racial violence and discrimination.

Roxi Victorian, artistic director with Nyama Contemporary Dance Company, and choreographer for this performance joins us for more.

But first, last week, we spoke to Greg Rigamer who conducted a poll published by the conservative group, Citizens for a New Louisiana, that showed state voters have an especially negative view of the legislature. Today, poll analyst Bernie Pinsonat tells us what the poll revealed about Louisianans’ opinions in the upcoming governor’s race.

Today’s episode of Louisiana Considered was hosted by Adam Vos. Our managing producer is Alana Schreiber and our digital editor is Katelyn Umholtz. Our engineers are Garrett Pittman and Aubry Procell. 

You can listen to Louisiana Considered Monday through Friday at 12:00 and 7:30 pm. It’s available on Spotify, Google Play, and wherever you get your podcasts. 

Louisiana Considered wants to hear from you! Please fill out our pitch line to let us know what kinds of story ideas you have for our show. And while you’re at it, fill out our listener survey! We want to keep bringing you the kinds of conversations you’d like to listen to.

Louisiana Considered is made possible with support from our listeners. Thank you!

Adam is responsible for coordinating WRKF's programming and making sure everything you hear on the radio runs smoothly. He is also the voice of Baton Rouge's local news every afternoon during All Things Considered.
Alana Schreiber is the managing producer for the live daily news program, Louisiana Considered. She comes to WWNO from KUNC in Northern Colorado, where she worked as a radio producer for the daily news magazine, Colorado Edition. She has previously interned for Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul and The Documentary Group in New York City.