What are the major subcultures in New Orleans?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The history of New Orleans reflects is converging of different historical traditions into one city.  One representation of identity that is present is the African- American culture.  Being a center of the South where slavery was seen an integral part of life, African America culture developed in the city and is an inseparable part of it.  After the Civil War, its port status    provided much work to African- Americans, former slaves who were denied education opportunities.  The presence of French culture is reflected in New Orleans, as it was the centre point of the French territory in the New World.  Fundamentally different from other America cities, American newcomers from the South as well as the North were surprised when they encountered the prevailing French language of the city, its dominant Catholicism, its bawdy sensual delights.  This cultural presence is there today.  A reflection of this would be the Cajun culture, a group of individuals who hail from French background, residing mostly in Louisiana.  Cajun dialects and cultural expressions and forms of speech are present in the city. In the modern setting, the cultures of New Orleans have been defined by a post- Katrina element, one that reflected a poor state of federal readiness to natural disasters.  When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, so many of its inhabitants were impacted that it almost created a type of cultural bond within its culture, creating its own subculture.

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