Desire and Disaster in New Orleans: Tourism, Race, and Historical Memory

Title

Desire and Disaster in New Orleans: Tourism, Race, and Historical Memory

Files

Description

Most of the narratives packaged for New Orleans's many tourists cultivate a desire for black culture—jazz, cuisine, dance—while simultaneously targeting black people and their communities as sources and sites of political, social, and natural disaster. In this timely book, the Americanist and New Orleans native Lynnell L. Thomas delves into the relationship between tourism, cultural production, and racial politics. She carefully interprets the racial narratives embedded in tourist websites, travel guides, business periodicals, and newspapers; the thoughts of tour guides and owners; and the stories told on bus and walking tours as they were conducted both before and after Katrina. She describes how, with varying degrees of success, African American tour guides, tour owners, and tourism industry officials have used their own black heritage tours and tourism-focused businesses to challenge exclusionary tourist representations. Taking readers from the Lower Ninth Ward to the White House, Thomas highlights the ways that popular culture and public policy converge to create a mythology of racial harmony that masks a long history of racial inequality and structural inequity.

ISBN

0822357283

Publication Date

2014

Publisher

Duke University Press

City

Durham

Keywords

tourism, Louisiana, New Orleans, African Americans, Hurricane Katrina, disasters, memory

Disciplines

African American Studies | Cultural History | Tourism | Tourism and Travel | United States History