A young researcher with family roots in New Orleans’ 9th Ward is seeking people who lived in the community between 1920 and 1960 for an oral history project financed by National Geographic. Caroline Gerdes, a recent LSU graduate, will record stories of the 9th Ward at Grace Lutheran Church in Lakeview on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Gerdes is doing the research with a Young Explorers grant from the National Geographic Society. The program gives grants to young people interested in research, exploration and conservation.
“My objective for collecting these histories is to create a historical record of the community and to tell the full story of the 9th Ward, from the neighborhood’s immigrant origins onward,” Gerdes said.
She has been working throughout the summer, collecting oral histories from those who have called the 9th Ward home. Her research has focused on the area as a melting pot, on New Orleans’ unique culture and on firsthand accounts of life in the community.
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