High School Students Explore Themes of African American History and the Environmental Movement

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St. Augustine High School, Xavier University Department of Communication Studies, Louisiana Bucket Brigade

For immediate release                                               
For more information contact: 
Anne Rolfes, Founding Director, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, (504) 452-4909

High School Students Explore Themes of African American History and the Environmental Movement

WHAT: Two hundred fifty students from high schools around New Orleans will converge upon St. Augustine High School for SAYNola, a project exploring themes of African American history and the environmental movement.  The 1811 slave revolt and resistance to pollution along the Mississippi’s Cancer Alley are among the topics to be explored. Participating schools include St. Augustine, St. Mary's, St. Katherine Drexel, McDonogh 35, Edna Karr, Warren Easton and NOCCA.

Featured speakers include Leon Waters of Hidden History Tours and General Russel Honoré of the GreenARMY.  St. Aug students will lead conversation circles after the presentations, employing cutting edge technology called New Hive to document and present the students’ experience.

WHEN: Wednesday, November 11, 2015, 8:30 am - noon

WHERE: St. Augustine High School, 2600 A P Tureaud Ave, New Orleans, Louisiana 70079

WHY:  This program explores two powerful forces in Louisiana: our environment and our history. Speakers will examine the confluence of the environmental justice movement in Louisiana and the 1811 slave revolt. This event is inspired by Margie Richard, the former President of Concerned Citizens of Norco. Margie led her community in a successful campaign for a fair buy out of homes contaminated by Shell Oil.

Margie invoked the past for power and inspiration. She often said, “If my ancestors were willing to be killed for standing up to slavery, I can surely stand up to Shell.”

The Slave Revolt of 1811 was the largest slave revolt in U.S. history, yet this revolt is little known even in the region it took place – New Orleans and the adjacent St. Charles Parish.  Many of the descendants of the slave revolt comprised the Corps d’Afrique – the battalion of black soldiers who fought in the Civil War. This is a long proud history, but there are scars. The area continues to celebrate the history of the plantation owners, rarely referring to enslaved people. Instead, places like the Destrehan Plantation focus on the china and fancy furniture of the plantation homes.

The theme of the event is Know your history. Build your future.



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