When summer temperatures soar, ducking into a New Orleans museum is one of the best activities you can do. Given the wonderful multiculturalism of New Orleans, an exploration of New Orleans Multicultural Museums is a good place to start. Ask the innkeepers of your New Orleans Bed and Breakfast about their favorite multicultural museums, or simply visit them all.
Mardi Gras enthusiasts should start at The Backstreet Cultural Museum in the Tremé neighborhood. No other place in the world houses such comprehensive exhibits on New Orleans’ African American community-based masking and processional traditions. Many of these items were given to the museum’s founder, Sylvester Francis, who has photographed and recorded Mardi Gras celebrations, second-line parades, and jazz funerals throughout the city for decades.
Le Musée de f.p.c. is a beautiful house museum honoring the legacy of New Orleans’ free people of color. New Orleans was home to one of the oldest and largest populations of free people of color prior to the Civil War. Some of these folks were born free, others arrived from the Caribbean Islands free, and still others worked and saved their money and purchased their own freedom. This is a fascinating museum.
New Orleans African American Museum protects, preserves, and promotes the communities of African Americans in New Orleans and the African diaspora. Particular emphasis is placed on the Tremé community, where the museum is located and which is the oldest surviving black community in the country. Exhibits change regularly, and focus on contemporary issues and art as well as historic ones.
There is so much to do and see in New Orleans that deciding where to start can be overwhelming. If your stay in a New Orleans Bed and Breakfast coincides with a few hot days, start in one of the museums mentioned above.