Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New OrleansDawn Logsdon and Lolis Eric Elie

Run Time:


“Flat out brilliant…This is a great piece of storytelling, filmmaking and testifying. It is also, arguably, the most poignant film ever made about New Orleans”
—J.B. Borders, The New Orleans Tribune

“Timely and essential….The film’s deft blend of first-person narrative and archival photos, contemporary talking heads and theatrical recreation, underscores Elie’s question: “How can our past help us survive this time?”
—Larry Blumenfeld, The Village Voice


Lolis Eric Elie, a New Orleans newspaperman, takes us on a tour of the city—his city—in what becomes a reflection on the relevance of history folded into a love letter to the storied New Orleans neighborhood, Faubourg Tremé. Arguably the oldest black neighborhood in America and the birthplace of jazz, Faubourg Tremé was home to the largest community of free black people in the Deep South during slavery and was a hotbed of political ferment. Here black and white, free and enslaved, rich and poor cohabitated, collaborated, and clashed to create America’s first Civil Rights Movement and a unique American culture. Long before Rosa Parks’s courageous and incendiary refusal in 1955 to give up her seat, Tremé leaders organized sit-ins and protests that successfully desegregated the city’s streetcars and schools in the 1800s. Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans is a riveting tale of heartbreak, hope, resiliency and haunting historic parallels.

While the Tremé district was damaged when the levees broke, this is not just another Hurricane Katrina documentary. Long before the flood, the film’s directors, writer Lolis Eric Elie and filmmaker Dawn Logsdon, both native New Orleanians—one black, one white—began documenting the rich living culture of this historic district. Miraculously, their tapes, unlike their homes, survived the disaster unscathed. The completed film, Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans, which critics have called “devastating”, “charming”, and “revelatory” takes us back to a New Orleans that is in danger of being lost forever.

Elie and director Dawn Logsdon make clear that the city’s present, even after Hurricane Katrina, remains steeped in its past—one that, for New Orleans, naturally includes an emphasis on music—heightened here by Derrick Hodge’s original jazz score and over a hundred years of New Orleans music. Exhaustively researched, Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans features rare archival footage and music. This is a film of ideas, a historical film, a personal film and a celebration of place.

Extended Synopsis

Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans is riveting tale of hope, heartbreak and resilience set in New Orleans’ most fascinating neighborhood. Shot largely before Hurricane Katrina and edited afterwards, the film is both celebratory and elegiac in tone.

Faubourg Tremé is arguably the oldest black neighborhood in America, the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement in the South and the home of jazz. While the Tremé district was damaged when the levees broke, this is not another Katrina documentary. Every frame is a tribute to what African American communities have contributed even under the most hostile of conditions. It is a film of such effortless intimacy, subtle glances, and authentic details that only two native New Orleanians could have made it.

Our guide through the neighborhood is New Orleans’ Times Picayune columnist Lolis Eric Elie who bought a historic house in Tremé in the 1990’s when the area was struggling to recover from the crack epidemic. Rather than flee the blighted inner city, Elie begins renovating his dilapidated home and in the process becomes obsessed with the area’s mysterious and neglected past. The film follows the progress of his renovation, which eventually emerges as a poignant metaphor for post-Katrina reconstruction of New Orleans.

Irving Trevigne, Elie’s 75-year-old Creole carpenter, is the heart and soul of the neighborhood and a born storyteller. Descended from over 200 years of skilled craftsmen, he beguiles Elie with the forgotten stories behind Tremé’s old buildings. Other neighborhood chroniclers like Louisiana Poet Laureate Brenda Marie Osbey, musician Glen David Andrews and renowned historians John Hope Franklin and Eric Foner help bring alive a compelling and complex historical experience that gracefully combines pre- and post hurricane footage with a wealth of never-before-seen archival imagery.

Long ago during slavery, Faubourg Tremé was home to the largest community of free black people in the Deep South and a hotbed of political ferment. Here black and white, free and enslaved, rich and poor cohabitated, collaborated, and clashed to create much of what defines New Orleans culture up to the present day. Founded as a suburb (or faubourg in French) of the original colonial city, the neighborhood developed during French rule and many families like the Trevignes kept speaking French as their first language until the late 1960’s.

The film brims with unknown historical nuggets: Who knew that in the early 1800’s, while most African Americans were toiling on plantations, free black people in Tremé were publishing poetry and conducting symphonies? Who knew that long before Rosa Parks, Tremé leaders organized sit-ins and protests that successfully desegregated the city’s streetcars and schools? Who knew that jazz, the area’s greatest gift to America, was born from the embers of this first American Civil Right’s Movement.

This film is imaginative, revealing, and disturbing. The images are unforgettable, reminding us of who we are and who we have been. Today many Tremé residents are unable to return home and the neighborhood is once again fighting many of the same civil rights battles first launched here 150 years ago. Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans celebrates the resiliency of this community and how they managed to carve out a unique and expressive culture and a history that would enrich America and the world.


Golden Gate Award, San Francisco International Film Festival
Best Documentary, San Francisco Black Film Festival
Best Documentary, Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival
Winner Peter C. Rollins Award for Best Documentary – Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association
Winner Best Documentary – Society for Visual Anthropology, American Anthropology Association.
Winner, Best Film about Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans Times Picayune Readers Poll

Broadcast screenings:

Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans screened nationally in the United States on PBS, where it premiered in 2009, with additional screenings in 2010-2012.

Select Festival Screenings:

Tribeca Film Festival
San Francisco International Film Festival (Golden Gate Best Documentary Award)
San Francisco Black Film Festival
Vancouver Int’l Film Festival
Bermuda International Film Festival
Cork International Film Festival
Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival
Hot Springs Film Festival
Revelation (Perth, Australia) Int’l Film Festival
Real Life Film Festival (Ghana)
Downtown Los Angeles Film Festival
Echo Park Human Rights Film Festival
Pan African Film Festival – Atlanta
Pan African Film Festival – Los Angeles
Black Harvest Film Festival (Chicago)
AfroPunk Film Festival (Brooklyn)
Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival
Port Townsend Int’l Film Festival
Oxford Film Festival
Sonoma Napa Film Festival
Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival
Rotterdam Architectural Film Festival
Museum of African Diaspora
Brampton Global Jazz Festival
Hampton’s Black Film Festival

Director’s Statement

We are New Orleans filmmakers, one black and one white. With the failure of the federal levees after Hurricane Katrina, our entire city was transformed overnight into the symbol of all that has gone wrong in America, in particular its deepening racial and economic divide. Seared into the nation’s consciousness are images of desperately poor black people trapped on rooftops and denied the most basic protection of American citizenship. Those images have come to represent black New Orleans.

Our goal in making this film was to tell the story behind those images. We chose to focus on one New Orleans neighborhood, Faubourg Tremé, a historic community that like much of the old city is predominantly African American, poor, and steeped in distinctly un-American traditions. For us Faubourg Tremé is quintessential New Orleans. We wanted to capture the spirit of this place that has persevered in the face of great hostility for centuries and created a culture and history that enriched America and the world.

These days, “character driven” documentaries are all the rage. In editing this film, however, we chose not to structure our story around the personal dramas of our wonderful individual characters but to highlight the larger drama of community. We hope New Orleans itself becomes the character you laugh and cry with, and come to love.

Our film focuses on a forgotten 19th century Civil Rights Movement in New Orleans and the music and writing that was born of those dreams. We ourselves are both products of a later Civil Rights Movement. Our parents were Civil Rights activists. We were each sent to integrate New Orleans schools — Lolis to an elite all-white private school, Dawn to an inner city public school that had been abandoned by white parents after desegregation. Our childhood memories are of picket lines, voter registration drives and dreams of a new New Orleans.

Today, there’s another new New Orleans in the planning and a new generation of young Americans trekking South to help in the rebuilding. Many of the battles of the past are being fought again. In the course of making this film, the Tremé neighborhood was transformed from one of the most rooted communities in America to among the most uprooted. Before the hurricane, one of the things old people loved to tell us over and over was “You can’t possibly know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been.” Back then, this expression sounded to us like a simplistic cliché. After the flood, it became our mantra too. The history of New Orleans is littered with tragic paths not taken. But it’s also rich with tales of brave uprisings, interracial collaboration, endurance, and creativity. Our hope is that this film can help heal, educate, and inspire at this critical moment in New Orleans’ future.”

—Dawn Logsdon and Lolis Eric Elie

Director’s Bio

Dawn Logsdon

Faubourg Tremé is Dawn Logsdon’s debut as a feature length documentary director and producer. She has produced and directed two short documentaries, Theresa: A Grandmother’s Journey, and Tomboy, which screened at festivals around the world and aired on local PBS stations nationwide. For over 15 years Dawn has been as an award-winning documentary editor and consultant. She edited the 2004 Academy Award-nominated documentary film, The Weather Underground, directed by Sam Green and Bill Siegel and the Sundance Award-winning documentary Paragraph 175, directed by two-time Academy Award winners Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman. She was also the editor of the Emmy and Peabody award-winning PBS program The Castro: Hidden Neighborhoods of San Francisco. Most recently, Dawn has edited two New Orleans documentaries, Lindy Boggs: Steel & Velvet which she co-directed with Bess Carrick and By Invitation Only, directed by Rebecca Snedecker. She is an Open Society Institute Katrina Media Fellow. Dawn Logsdon was born in Madison, Wisconsin. She moved to New Orleans at the age of two with her mother and father when they went South to help with voter registration drives during the Civil Rights Movement. Her father was a history professor at the University of New Orleans and her mother is a retired New Orleans public school teacher. Dawn holds a degree in Philosophy from the University of California at Berkeley. Dawn was living in New Orleans when the levees breached after Hurricane Katrina. Her house and neighborhood were badly flooded; she was fortunate to have friends who helped her to relocate to the San Francisco Bay Area where she was able to complete this film.

Dawn Logsdon Filmography

Directing Filmography

2008 Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans, Director/Producer/Editor. Documentary about the historic New Orleans neighborhood that gave birth to jazz and America’s first Civil Rights Movement.
2008 Broadcast: 2009, 2010 & 2011 National PBS Black History Month Presentations
SF International Film Festival Golden Gate Best Documentary Award 2008;
Popular American Culture Association Best Documentary Award 2008;
The Society for Visual Anthropology Best Documentary 2009

1995 Tomboy (short), Director/ Producer/Editor

Editing Filmography

2012 Big Joy, Editor. Director: Eric Slade, Producer: Stephen Silha. The life and work of poet and experimental filmmaker James Broughton.

2011 Turkey Creek, Editor. Director: Leah Mahan. An African American community fights to save its wetlands in an environmental justice battle on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

2010 Have You Heard From Johannesburg, Editor/Writer.
Director: Connie Field. Eight-part documentary series on the worldwide anti-apartheid movement.
IDA Best Documentary Series Award 2010

2003 The Weather Underground, Editor. Director/Producer: Sam Green. Documentary about the Vietnam War era radical youth group.
Sundance Documentary Competition 2003
Academy Award Nomination for Best Documentary Feature 2004

2002 Hope Along The Wind Editor. Director/Producer: Eric Slade/Jack Walsh.
Documentary on the labor organizer and gay rights pioneer Harry Hay.
SFIFF Golden Gate Award for Best Documentary 2002, Emmy Nomination 2002

2000 Paragraph 175, Editor. Directors/Producers: Rob Epstein/ Jeffrey Friedman.
Documentary about homosexuals during the Nazi era.
HBO Broadcast 2001
Sundance Best Documentary Directing 2000
Berlin FIPRESCI Award for Best Film &Teddy Award for Best Documentary 2001

1998 Vanishing Line, Editor. Director/Producer: Maren Monsen. Documentary about death and the American medical system.
1998 Broadcast: PBS series POV 1998 and 2000 (Encore)
National Emmy Award Nomination 1999

1997 The Castro, Editor. Producer/Director: Peter Stein. Documentary about San Francisco’s iconic gay neighborhood.
1997 Broadcast: PBS National
George Foster Peabody Award & CINE Golden Eagle Awards 1998

Lolis Eric Elie

Lolis Eric Elie, co-director and writer of Faubourg Treme, is a native New Orleanian and long time chronicler of the city’s culture and politics. A staff writer on the HBO series “Treme,” Lolis is the recipient of an NAACP Image Award for his writing on the show. From 1995 to 2009, he wrote a thrice-weekly column for the New Orleans’ Times-Picayune. A recognized expert on New Orleans food and culture, he is the author of Smokestack Lightning: Adventures in the Heart of Barbecue Country and co-producer and writer of Smokestack Lightning: A Day in the Life of Barbecue, the documentary based on that book. He is editor of Cornbread Nation 2: The Best of Southern Food Writing. A contributing writer to The Oxford American, his work has appeared in Gourmet, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Bon Appetit, Downbeat and The San Francisco Chronicle among other publications. His work is included in the anthologies Best Food Writing: 2008, Streetlights: Illuminating Tales of the Urban Black Experience, and That‘s What I Like (About the South:
 and Other New Southern Stories for the Nineties). A former commentator for “CBS News Sunday Morning”, he has also appeared often on National Public Radio programs. He has an MA from the Columbia School of Journalism in New York and an MFA from the University of Virginia.

Lolis Eric Elie Filmography

2011 Treme (HBO TV series), Story Editor. (10 episodes, 2011); Writer (2 episodes, 2010-2011), Actor (1 episode, 2011). Executive Producers: David Simon/Eric Overmyer.

2008 Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story Of Black New Orleans, Co-Director/Writer. Documentary about the historic New Orleans neighborhood that gave birth to jazz and America’s first Civil Rights Movement.
2008 Broadcast: 2009, 2010 & 2011 National PBS Black History Month Presentations
SF International Film Festival Golden Gate Best Documentary Award 2008;
Popular American Culture Association Best Documentary Award 2008;
The Society for Visual Anthropology Best Documentary 2009

2006 By Invitation Only, Project Advisor. Director: Rebecca Snedeker

2001 Smokestack Lightning: A Day In The Life Of Barbecue, Producer. Director: David Bransten


Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans
A film by Dawn Logsdon & Lolis Eric Elie

Executive Producers
Stanley Nelson
Wynton Marsalis

Directed by
Dawn Logsdon

Co-Directed & Written by
Lolis Eric Elie

Produced by
Lucie Faulknor
Lolis Eric Elie
Dawn Logsdon

Cinematography by
Diego Velasco
Keith Smith
Bobby Shepard

Edited by
Dawn Logsdon
Sam Green
Aljernon Tunsil

Derrick Hodge

JoNell Kennedy

On-Line Editor/Colorist
John Crossley

Glen David Andrews
Eric Foner
John Hope Franklin
Bob French
Fr. Jerome LeDoux
Wynton Marsalis
Keith Weldon Medley
Brenda Marie Osbey
Laura Rouzan
Kalamu ya Salaam
Lenwood Sloan
Irving Trevigne

Louisiana Living History Project Actors
Harold Evans
Donald Lewis, Jr.
Karen Kaia Livers
Lenwood Sloan
Barbara Trevigne

Other Reenactment Performers
Keith M. Plessy
Elmer Von Dullen
Raymond Vrazel, Jr.

Salome Milstead
Renee Lapeyrolerie

Line Producers
Jamie Balthazar
Emily Lundin

Associate Producers
Gina Charbonnet
Rebecca Snedeker

Additional Camera
Neil Alexander
Walter Bardell
Andy Black
Bill Casanova
Keith Crews
Ralph Madison
Salome Milstead
Reginald “Trigger” Smith
Alex Vlackos

Location Sound
Lucie Faulknor
Carolina Loreto
Kenneth Smith
Gabriel Velasco
Tim Watson

Gary Allen
Kenneth Smith
Daniel Rector
Carolina Loreto

Additional Writing
Marcia Smith

Additional Editing
Laurie Schmidt
Angela Reginatto

Assistant Editors
Drew Stubbs
Kevin Jones
Will Lloyd

Production Assistants
Rob Booth
Elsa Hahne
Kiara Nagle
Carrie Stone
Naurine Vidrine

Title Design and Graphics
Bobby Vandyke

Original Illustrations
Michelle Prinz

Dialogue Editor
Vanessa Lapato

Sound Effects Editor
Billy Theriot

Re-Recording Mixer
Larry Blake

Editing Consultants
Deborah Hoffman
Veronica Selver

Director of Research
Caryn Cosse´ Bell

Project Advisors
James Borders
Janet Cole
Rob Epstein
Sam Green
Julie Gustafson
Stanley Nelson
Marcia Smith

Historical Advisors
Caryn Cossé Bell
Gwendolyn Midlo Hall
Jessica Harris
Leon Litwak
Joseph Logsdon
Keith Medley
Brenda Marie Osbey
Lawrence Powell
Bruce Boyd Raeburn
Laura Rouzan
Rebecca J. Scott
Barbara Trevigne
Martha C. Ward

Archival Consultants
Florence Borders
Kenn Rabin
John Magill

Archival Researchers
Melissa Adams
Morgan Coy
Laurie Coyle
Linda Davis
Gabrielle Mullen
Gwen Redus
Shelene Roumillat
Rebecca Snedeker
Barbara Trevigne
Mary White
Karen Wyatt

Post Production Intern
Kathryn McGarr

Post Production Services
Phoenix Edit.Effects.Design, San Francisco, CA
Lisa Hinman, Jonathan Hinman, Sheila Smith

Post Production Sound Services
Swelltone Labs, New Orleans, LA

Score Musicians
Brice Winston: Tenor Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet
Terrell Stafford: Trumpet
Aaron Parks: Piano
Derrick Hodge: Acoustic & Electric Bass
Kendrick Scott: Drums & Percussion
Recorded & Mixed at The Studio, Philadelphia, PA
Joe Smeltz: Recording & Mixing Engineer

“Second Line (Joe Avery’s Blues)”
Written by Sinigal & Hines
Performed by Bob French’s Original Tuxedo Jazz Band & Friends
Courtesy of Royal Tuxedo Records

“Burgundy Street Blues”
Written by George Lewis
Performed by George Lewis’ Ragtime Jazz Band at the Municipal Auditorium, Congo Square
Courtesy of American Music Records and the GHB Jazz Foundation

“Knock with Me”
Performed and Written by Glen David Andrews, Published by Glen David Andrews Music Inc.

“Just a Closer Walk with Thee”
Performed by Irvin Mayfield and Ronald Markham at Christ Church Cathedral

Randall Feldman
Jim Moriarty
Beth Utterbach
Vic Giancola

Beth Courtney
Clay Fourrier
Tika Laudun

Legal Services
Daniel M. Satorius
Lommen Abdo Law Firm

Website Design
Steve Sharp, Columbia Post Productions

Locations Courtesy of
The William Faulkner House
Pitot House, Louisiana Landmarks Society
Rural Life Museum, Baton Rouge, LA
Tulane University, Printmaking Department
WWOZ-FM, New Orleans
St. Augustine Church, Archdiocese of New Orleans
Saint Louis Cemetery I and II
New Orleans Regional Transit Authority
Calvary Spiritual Church

Accommodations Courtesy of
Karen Kaia Livers
Joan Rhodes

Catering Services Courtesy of
La Spiga Bakery- Dana Logsdon
Scott Barton and Jill London
Abita Brewery
Tonya Hopkins

Fiscal Agent
Video Veracity, Inc.

Archival Sources
ABCNEWS VideoSource
Allen-Littlefield Collection- Lynching photos of Laura Nelson, Virgil Jones, Robert Jones, Thomas Jones and Joseph Riley
The Amistad Research Center at Tulane University – Brenda Square, Archivist
The Historic New Orleans Collection, including the William Russsell Collection and Jules Cahn Collection- John Magill & Jude Solomon, Archivists
CNN, Brian Fulford, Archivist
Heldon Films, Don Perry Collection
Historic Films Archive
William R. Hogan Jazz Archives, Tulane University- Bruce Boyd Raeburn, Lynn Abbott, Archivists
Housing Authority of New Orleans
LA Creole Association – Pat Schexnayder
Library of Congress
Earl K. Long Library, University of New Orleans – Florence Jumonville, Archivist
Louisiana State Museum- Tom Lanham, Archivist
The Menil Collection, Houston, TX
National Archives & Records Administration
New Orleans Museum of Art- E. John Bullard, Director
New Orleans Notorial Archives – Ann Wakefield, Archivist
James Porter Collection- Brenda Thorton
New Orleans Public Library, Special Collections- Wayne Everard, Greg Osborne, Irene Wainwright, Archivist
New Orleans Times-Picayune
Northwind Picture Archives
Preservation Hall – Ben Jaffe
Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library
Tulane University, Louisiana Collection- Bill Menary, Archivist
UCLA Film & Television Archive
Ursulines Convent Archives – Sr. Joan Acock, Archivist
Xavier University Archives & Special Collections – Lester Sullivan, Archivist

Additional footage & stills courtesy of the following individuals
Neil Alexander
Alden Ashforth, 1952 Mardi Gras Brass Band Footage
Ann & Jack O. Brittain & Their Children
Daniel & Pascale Bechet
Bliss Broyard
Dionne Butler
Bess Carrick
Ed & Lolita Cherrie
Anne Craig
Gilbert Estrada
Cerlida Fletcher
Lynne Jensen & Family
Andrew Jourdain, The Bernal & Charbonnet Families
Peggy Scott Laborde
Jacques Morial
James Nolan
Brenda Marie Osbey
Royce Osborn
Mark Paul
Lauren Thompson and Chris Tetens
Reginald “Trigger” Smith
Eric Waters
Dietrich Wawyzn

Very Special Thanks
Backstreet Cultural Museum
Christine Badgley
Orlando Bagwell
Lambert Boissiere
David Bransten
Drex Brumfield
Karen Carter
Bernard Charbonnet
Charbonnet’s Livery Service
Leah Chase
Sonya Childress
Teresa Cole
Peter Coyote
Lucille Crump Moore
Ike & Marie Edwards
Gerri Elie
Migel Elie
Lolis Edward Elie
Michelle Elmore
Vaughn Fauria
Kenneth & Melba Ferdinand
Ferrara Family
Randy Fertel
Rob Florence
Adella “The Storytella” Gautier
Carol Elie Gray
Willie Green
John Hankins
Jackie Harris
Jessica Harris
Jonathan Hinman
Lisa Hinman
Mary Howell
Paulette Irons
Benny Jones, Sr.
Jacquie Jones
Mitch Landrieu
Leon Litwak
Dana Logsdon
Joseph Logsdon
Mary Logsdon
Little People’s Bar
Barry Martyn
Money Wasters Social, Aid & Pleasure Club
Marc Morial
Edwin R. Murray
New Birth Brass Band
New Orleans Regional Transit Authority
Wendell Pierce
Lawrence Powell
Powell Family
Bruce Boyd Raeburn
Michael Ravitch
Cedric Richmond
Rebecca J. Scott
Fatima Shaik
Sheila Smith
Scott Stoler
Lester Sullivan
The Security Center
Tremé Brass Band
Audrey Trevigne
and all the New Orleanians and other people throughout the country who donated their time and money to make this project possible.

Major Funding Provided by
PBS’ ITVS/LiNcs Initiative, WYES-TV12 New Orleans, State of Louisiana Dept. of Culture, Recreation & Tourism, Ford Foundation, Southern Humanities Media Fund, National Black Programming Consortium, Open Society Institute, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, University of New Orleans R&T Foundation, Wisner Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Louisiana Office of Tourism, Arts Council of New Orleans, Mayor’s Economic Development Fund, Louisiana Division of the Arts, Pacific Pioneer, Fertel Foundation, LEF Foundation, George & Joyce Wein Fund, Jerry B. Bias, Mary Logsdon, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, Liberty Bank, Benjamin A. Dent, Greater New Orleans Foundation, Bay Area Video Coalition, Community Partnership Grant, Derrick D. Jones, Betty Wisdom, P.R. Norman, Taylor Hackford & Helen Mirren, James Hobbs, Mr. & Mrs. Larry Garvey, Moira Ambrose, Preservation Jazz Hall, Edward Bradley, Jr., the Mary Freeman Wisdom Foundation and Phoenix Edit Design.

Executive Producer for ITVS
Sally Jo Fifer

Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans is a co-production of
Serendipity Films, LLC, Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB), WYES-TV/New
Orleans, and the Independent Television Service (ITVS)–with funding
provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

Produced in association with the National Black Programming Consortium

This program was produced by Serendipity Films, LLC which is solely responsible for its content.
© 2008 Serendipity Films, LLC

Cast Bios

List of Interviewees
(in alphabetical order)

Glen David Andrews is a New Orleans jazz trombonist and singer who began playing in his family’s brass band in Treme when he was a young child. He has released several CDs and performs with his band The Lazy Six.

John Hope Franklin is a renowned Reconstruction historian and the James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of History at Duke University. Professor Franklin’s numerous publications include From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African-Americans, The Emancipation Proclamation; The Militant South; The Free Negro in North Carolina; Reconstruction After the Civil War; and A Southern Odyssey: Travelers in the Ante-bellum North.

Eric Foner is a DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University, specializing in the Civil War and Reconstruction, Slavery, and 19th-century America. He has published many books including: Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party Before the Civil War; Politics and Ideology in the Age of the Civil War; Nothing But Freedom: Emancipation and Its Legacy; Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863–1877.

Wynton Marsalis is an acclaimed jazz artist, composer and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center.
A New Orleans native, he has helped bring jazz to the forefront of American culture through his performances, recordings, compositions, and educational efforts. He was the first jazz artist to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize in music and has been awarded nine Grammy Awards in both Jazz and Classical genres.

Keith Weldon Medley is a New Orleans writer and author of We as Freedmen: Plessy vs Ferguson.
He grew up a few blocks from where Homer Plessy boarded the train and attended St Augustine church and the school founded by Paul Trevigne. He is working on a historical novel set in New Orleans.

Brenda Marie Osbey is a poet and prose writer whose roots in Faubourg Tremé extend back generations. She has published several books of poetry, including All Saints: New and Selected Poems, which received the 1998 American Book Award. She is also the author of the newspaper series “Faubourg Tremé: Community in Transition.” She was named Poet Laureate of Louisiana in 2005.

Laura Rouzan is Associate Dean of Dillard University in New Orleans. A professor of Mass Communications, she specializes in the history of African American newspapers and is working on a book about 19th century black newspaper editors.

Kalamu Ya Salaam is a poet, educator and activist. Salaam is the founder of NOMMO Literary Society and leader of Word Band, a poetry performance ensemble that combines poetry with blues, jazz and other forms of music. He is co-director of Students at the Center, a public high school writing program.

Lenwood Sloan is an actor, playwright, dancer, choreographer, arts activist, scholar of dance history, and co-founder of the Louisiana Living History Theater Project. Currently Director of Heritage & Tourism for the State of Pennsylvania

Irving Trevigne – a master carpenter, building contractor, jazz guitarist and navy veteran of World War II, evacuated to Vermont after Hurricane Katrina.

Crew Bios

Executive Producers

Wynton Marsalis is a world-renowned jazz recording artist, nine-time Grammy Award® and Pulitzer prize-winning musician and composer. A New Orleans native and jazz history expert, he is currently Artistic Director of Jazz at the Lincoln Center in New York.

Stanley Nelson, an award-winning filmmaker, has over 20 years of experience as a producer, director, and writer of documentary films and videos. Nelson’s films include Jonestown: The Life & Death of the People’s Temple; the Emmy-award winning Freedom Riders and The Murder of Emmett Till; The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords; Two Dollars and a Dream: The Story of Madame C.J. Walker, (winner of the CINE Golden Eagle, and cited as the Best Production of the Decade by the Black Filmmaker Foundation) and many others. He is also a MacArthur Foundation Fellow.

Dawn Logsdon has produced and directed several award-winning short documentaries, including Tomboy and Theresa: A Grandmother’s Journey, which have screened at festivals around the world and aired annually on local PBS stations. Dawn is a nationally acclaimed editor and has worked on celebrated projects for PBS, HBO, and Channel Four in England. She edited the 2004 Academy Award®-nominated documentary film, The Weather Underground, directed by Sam Green and Bill Siegel and the Sundance Award-winning documentary Paragraph 175, directed by two-time Academy Award® winners Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman. She was also the editor of the Emmy and Peabody award-winning program The Castro: Hidden Neighborhoods of San Francisco, which interweaves the many strands of that community’s history, culture and politics. Dawn co-directed and edited the documentary on former Congresswoman, Lindy Boggs: Steel & Velvet; and is an Open Society Institute’s Katrina Media Fellow. As the daughter of a local historian and New Orleans public school teacher, Dawn was reared at the dinner table on tales of New Orleans’ forgotten past. She has a degree in Philosophy from the University of California at Berkeley.


Lolis Eric Elie is an award-winning metro columnist and accomplished author. For over eight years, he has chronicled the heartbeat of New Orleans’ neighborhoods thrice weekly for New Orleans’ major daily newspaper, The Times-Picayune. A recognized expert on New Orleans food and culture, Lolis is the author of Smokestack Lightning: Adventures in the Heart of Barbecue Country, a book about the culture of barbecue. He recently produced a television documentary based on that book and has several other culinary documentaries in development. He is currently writing Of Bondage & Memory, a book on the enduring legacy of the slave trade on two continents. He is editor of Cornbread Nation 2: The Best of Southern Food Writing for University of North Carolina Press. As a producer for the Smithsonian Institute’s Jazz Oral History Project, Lolis conducted interviews with many of New Orleans’ elder jazz musicians. Lolis is a Katrina Media Fellow awarded by the Open Society Institute. He has Master’s Degrees from the Columbia School of Journalism in New York and a Master’s in Creative Writing from the University of Virginia. He and his father live in the Tremé and have become key figures in the area’s cultural renaissance.


Lucie Faulknor has over 25 years experience in arts administration. She has assisted Academy award nominated documentary filmmaker, Dorothy Fadiman and feature film director, Lynn Hershman-Leeson. Lucie produced Ireland’s first Women in Film and Video Film Festival in Dublin and developed and produced “Artists Up-Close” a series of lectures in San Francisco featuring Bobby McFerrin, Phillip Glass, Sydney Pollack, Laurie Anderson, and many others. She has managed fundraising campaigns for a number of theater companies, including Marin Theater Company and the Irish Arts Foundation’s 5th Province Theatre Company. Lucie has been publicist for the Dublin (Ireland) Fringe Theatre Festival, Stern Grove Festival, San Francisco’s Working Women Theater Festival, 4 Non Blondes, Jim Campilongo, and various other independent musicians, artists, actors and filmmakers. She has a BA in Arts Management from San Francisco State University and a Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco.



Keith Smith is a Los Angeles-based cinematographer who brings to the project over 20 years of documentary and narrative experience-and a special eye for his hometown, New Orleans. Keith has shot numerous documentaries, such as the nationally acclaimed ten-part educational series Black Americans of Achievement, as well as a number of narrative feature films, including Luck of the Draw and Any Given Sunday. His work has been shown theatrically and on numerous television broadcast and cable stations, such as PBS, HBO, Black Entertainment Television and Lifetime Television. He has also won awards at international film festivals.

Diego Velasco was born in the United States and raised in Venezuela. He currently resides in New Orleans and Los Angeles. He has worked as the director of photography for various music videos, commercials, and independent films including Tony Bravo and Mutiny. He has also worked on such feature films as The Insider; Double Jeopardy; Crazy in Alabama; My Dog Skip; and Dracula 2000. His films have won more than 19 awards worldwide including being pre-selected for Oscar consideration. Velasco directed the first-ever Latin American sitcom, Planeta de 6, for Venezuelan television. He is currently filming with Fox broadcasting in Los Angeles.


Derrick Hodge is currently the bass player and a composer with Terrence Blanchard’s jazz band. He was the composer for Who The !@#$ Is Jackson Pollack? and has composed tracks for Spike Lee’s Inside Man, When The Levees Broke and other film works. He attended Berkelee College of Music and received a bachelor’s degree in Music (emphasis on jazz and composition) from Temple University. Hodge has performed and/or recorded with Donald Byrd, Kanye West, Jill Scott, Bootsy Barnes, Q-Tip, Terell Stafford, Mos Def, and many others.

Post-Production Sound

Larry Blake, a New Orleans native, has mixed and edited the sound for Steven Soderberg’s Che; Ocean’s Eleven; Oceans Twelv;, Oceans Thirteen; Welcome to Collinwood; Full Frontal; Traffic; Waking Life; Erin Brokovich; The Limey; Out of Sight; Solaris; Coastlines; Kafka; Schizopolis; Sex, Lies, & Videotape; and numerous other feature and documentary films. He mixed, designed, and edited the sound for Faubourg Tremé at Swelltone Labs in New Orleans, Louisiana.


Faubourg Treme played at numerous international film festivals and on PBS, and is available for international broadcast