Faubourg Tremé: America’s First Free Black Neighborhood

While many around the country know Tremé simply as the title of an acclaimed television series, closer to home we know that it’s much, much more than that. Tremé is the neighborhood that gave rise to jazz, brass bands, incredible architecture, Mardi Gras Indians, and several pioneers of the civil rights movement. Had it not been for Tremé and the people of this community, our world would look, sound, and feel a lot different than it does today. Located between North Rampart and North Broad, Canal Street and St. Bernard Avenue, this historic neighborhood took its name from Claude Tremé, the Frenchman who acquired, subdivided, and sold his holdings just north of the Vieux Carré (French Quarter). Lots were purchased by a diversity of residents, but primarily free people of color including craftsmen, musicians, and Haitian Creoles. In 1812, the neighborhood was incorporated into the City of New Orleans. Today, Tremé is home to several key cultural institutions like the New Orleans African American Museum, Backstreet Cultural Museum, St. Augustine Catholic Church, Armstrong Park, and more. And it is still home to a dynamic community that continues to evolve the very traditions that make New Orleans unique. To learn more about the history of Tremé, also visit these sites:

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