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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

New Orleans in Orleans Parish, Louisiana — The American South (West South Central)
 

Holt Cemetery

6

 
 
Holt Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cajun Scrambler, December 28, 2020
1. Holt Cemetery Marker
Inscription.  
One striking pattern visible in the burial records for Holt is the high number of stillbirths and infants interred here. In 1902, for example, 262 of the 761 burials at Holt were under the age of one at death. Such high numbers for infant mortality probably reflect the lack of health care available for the urban poor in this era- especially African-American populations who were pushed into unhealthy and environmentally marginal backswamp, areas by policies promoting residential segregation.

While Holt is most famous as Buddy Bolden's burial site, other notable musicians are also interred here, including Jessie Hill, singer of the hit "Ooh Poo Pah Doo,” and Jewell "Babe” Stovall, a blues guitarist and singer.

In addition, Holt was the burial site of Robert Charles who died in July 1900 after fleeing a violent encounter with white police officers, in which both he and one of the officers were shot. While being pursued by police and a vigilante mob, Charles shot 26 more people, killing seven of them, before he himself was killed. The event triggered riots targeting the city's African- American population. One

Holt Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cajun Scrambler, December 28, 2020
2. Holt Cemetery Marker
of the first African-American schools, the Thomy Lafon School, was burned to the ground. Charles was buried in an unmarked grave, the location of which is unknown.

Note: In the past, Holt has been misidentified as the burial place of Ferris LeBlanc and three unidentified victims of the Upstairs Lounge Arson Fire of 1973. These individuals were actually buried in a lesser known city cemetery for the indigent and unclaimed, located behind Resthaven Memorial Park on Old Gentilly Road.

ADORNMENT OF GRAVES: REFLECTIVE AND FLASHING SURFACES
The use of reflective and metallic items and bright colors on graves evokes the brilliance of Divinity and the glory of Heaven, even as it celebrates the life of ancestors.

These signs highlight some elements of these traditions which have been written about extensively in the book: No Space Hidden. The Spirit of African American Yard Work by Grey Gundaker/Judith McWillie. (2005) The University of Tennessee Press/Knoxville.
These signs are the result of a partnership between the University of New Orleans Department of Anthropology and Sociology and Save Our Cemeteries, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation, promotion, and protection of New Orleans' historic cemeteries through restoration, education and advocacy.

 
Erected by

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University of New Orleans and Save Our Cemeteries. (Marker Number 6.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Cemeteries & Burial Sites.
 
Location. 29° 59.089′ N, 90° 6.345′ W. Marker is in New Orleans, Louisiana, in Orleans Parish. Marker can be reached from Buddy Bolden Place near City Park Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 635 City Park Avenue, New Orleans LA 70119, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Holt Cemetery (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Holt Cemetery (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Holt Cemetery (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Holt Cemetery (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Holt Cemetery (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Holt Cemetery (about 400 feet away); Site Of Higgins' Industries at Delgado Trade School (about 400 feet away); Marvin E. Thames (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Orleans.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 15, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 14, 2021, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. This page has been viewed 47 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 15, 2021, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana.
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Feb. 27, 2021