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Jane Buchsbaum interview, Part 5
Rogers, Kim Lacy
Rogers and Buchsbaum discuss the present state of the Black community and causes for the prevailing issues in Race relations
Jane Buchsbaum's description of segregated conditions in New Orleans includes Audubon Park and the park's later desegregation, which transitions into a discussion of Race relations in New Orleans more generally. Buchsbaum discusses the involvement of New Orleans' White economic elite in Civil rights causes, including a "rivalry" between two past presidents of the Urban League of Greater New Orleans, Rosa Keller and Helen Mervis. In response to Rogers' question about women Jewish activism in New Orleans, Buchsbaum suggests that such activism is largely conditioned by New Orleans "very strong Reform community, not Orthodox." Buchsbaum posits practitioners of Reform Judaism as able to avoid "all the heavy trappings of religion," with regard to ritualistic religious practices, and thus more able to focus on Community activism: "The deed is more important than the creed." Rogers asks Buchsbaum explicitly about her objectives which motivated her involvement in Civil rights activism. She answers that she wanted to see basic Civil rights and Voting rights for all as well as the ability to mingle freely with her African American friends and acquaintances. She details a prophecy of a friend, Albert Rosenberg, "night of the long knives," which predicted unrest in the Desire Housing Projects. Due to the isolation of Desire's residents "u2013 walled off from other neighborhoods and basic city services due to the Industrial Canal and railroad tracks "u2013 Rosenberg saw a violent reaction as inevitable. Buchsbaum blames her parents' generation for several poor decisions with regard to urban planning and social policy. In contrast to the perceived complacency of her parents' generation in regard to social program for poor urban African Americans, Buchsbaum briefly talks about the Black Panthers in New Orleans, and how their first major program in the area was a school breakfast program. She then talks about lo She also praises Moon Landrieu's leadership and his efforts to "halt the flight to the suburbs," which included his efforts to enact a law to mandate that city employees had to work in Orleans Parish. She then criticizes the decision of a colleague to move in some of the more remote suburbs of New Orleans: "I just think that people who go to the suburbs are horrible." Other topics include Police brutality and reform as well as politics in the Lower Ninth Ward. Buchsbaum claims she does not have the expertise to talk about several African American political organizations such as SOUL and BOLD, but suggests that Rogers speak with Oretha Castle Haley for her perspective on such activism. Locations discussed in the interview include: Audubon Park, Desire Housing Projects, Lower Ninth Ward, Uptown New Orleans.
Community welfare councilsCivil rights movement
New Orleans (La.)
Amistad Research Center
Box 3, Item 3,Side 2, Kim Lacy Rogers collection, Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
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