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History, art and culture: 3 reasons to visit southern Louisiana

Travel

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Ebony Fowler is a travelista, blogger, event planner and founder of Lush Group. See more about her at Inside My Lush.

By Ebony Fowler

I’ve been exploring the bayou state a few months now and Louisiana is stealing my Texas-sized-heart! From the good food to the southern hospitality, you have to take a road-trip or flight to “the boot.” Here are a few stops I’ve made and three places you should check-out.

1. The Whitney Plantation
The plantation’s first owners were the Haydel Family (German immigrants). I was in awe after my tour of the plantation. I felt a range of emotions from anger, sadness, resentment, gratitude and then pride. Pride in who I am, my lineage and the rich culture in which I come from.

I freely walked the Whitney Plantation, a place that once enslaved African people. African slaves were tortured, raised their families and planned routes of escape on the very ground I walked. This particular plantation was known for it’s sugar cane. The tour guide told us slaves were made to wear masks as they tended to the cane fields, to prevent them from eating the sugar cane. All I could think was, “bitter-sweetness.”

I sat in a slave cabin and could only imagine the heartache, rage and pain that lingered in the air. As I toured the plantation, I wondered “what would my legacy be?” How can I free myself mentally? How can I break through the glass ceiling not only as a woman, but also an African-American woman.

I thank the staff of the Whitney Plantation for remaining true to the history of the plantation and educationing visitors on the stories of unsung slaves. Even as slaves, they left a legacy. We must continue to build.

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2. New Orleans Museum of Art

I love exploring on Sundays. I feel alive. I drove down to New Orleans and toured the New Orleans Museum of Art, or NOMA. The museum is definitely a treat. As I strolled, guests  would stop by the piano and sing along with the pianist. The art and gift of song in New Orleans is unmatched.  On your next or first visit to “Nawlins,” please add this to your to-do list. Take a look!

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3. Who doesn’t love a good festival?

Home of Mardi Gras and jazz, New Orleans knows how to have a good time! I attended the Trème Gumbo Festival presented by the, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation. The event was held at the Louis Armstrong Park.

The food, music and energy was on-point. The MC told the crowd this festival is a representation of all walks of life coming together for a good time, despite what we’re seeing on TV, post-election. It felt good being in the crowd filled with harmony. New Orleans just feels sooooo, good. I started my day by having brunch at the Court of Two Sisters (one of new faves).  Afterward, I was ready for some good music, and of course, I had to save my appetite for some gumbo.

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