Digital Exhibits

Resistance Through Persistence: Enslaved Women and Culture in Louisiana

An exhibit created by UL Lafayette History students

“Resistance Through Persistence: Enslaved Women and Culture in Louisiana” is an exhibit currently installed in the Guilbeau Center for Public History that was created by a UL Lafayette history class taught by Dr. Ian Beamish on the public history of slavery. Originally on exhibition at the Vermilionville Living History Museum and Folk Life Park, “Resistance Through Persistence” emphasizes the many ways that enslaved women found to build culture despite the oppressive institutions supporting slavery. Too often resistance only includes rebellions and uprisings. This exhibit shows how enslaved women pushed back and resisted slavery on a daily basis.


Further Reading

Slavery + Ile Copal

  • Vaughan Baker, “Patterns of Slave Ownership in Lafayette Parish, 1850” in the Attakapas Gazette.

  • C. Ray Brassieur, Lionel Lyles, Michael S. Martin, “Freetown As It Was and As It Is: The Freetown History Project, Final Report” is available for download at -as-it-was-and-as-it-is-the-freetown-history-project-final-report.html

  • United States Census (Slave Schedules), 1850 and 1860 are available online via Lafayette Parish Public Library through the database HeritageQuest.

Slavery + Louisiana

  • Ronnie W. Clayton, Mother Wit: The Ex-Slave Narratives pf the Louisiana Writer’s Project.

  • Richard Follett, The Sugar Masters: Planters and Slavers in Louisiana’s Cane World, 1820-1860.

  • Walter Johnson, Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market.

  • Gwendolyn Midlo Hall, Africans in Colonial Louisiana: The Development of Afro-Creole Culture in the Eighteenth Century.

  • Albert Thrasher, On to New Orleans!: Louisiana’s Heroic 1811 Slave Revolt.

Resistance + Hair

  • Valerie Boyd, “The Ritual” in the African American Review.

  • Ayana D. Byrd and Lori L. Tharps, Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America.

  • Michael Cunningham and George Alexander, eds., Queens: Portraits of Black Women and their Fabulous Hair.

  • Shane White and Graham White, “Slave Hair and African American Culture in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries” in The Journal of Southern History.

Resistance + Medicine

  • Herbert C. Covey, African American Slave Medicine: Herbal and Non-Herbal Treatments.

  • Dorothy Roberts, Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty.

  • Sharla Fett, Working Cures: Healing, Health, and Power on Southern Slave Plantations.

  • Marie Jenkins Schwartz, Birthing a Slave: Motherhood and Medicine in the Antebellum South.

  • Londa Schiebinger, Secret Cures of Slaves: People, Plants, and Medicine in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World.

Walking Tour of Lafayette, Louisiana


The blue moon saloon

Tour the Blue Moon Saloon with Julia Fontenot and Chandler Simon as they explore its cultural impacts as well as the building’s historical roots.


evangeline Apartments

Join Tyrone Dennis and Julianne Reynolds at the hotel that hosted Elvis Presley and Ronald Reagan, assisted those in need, and now offers affordable housing to the elderly.


visiting the gordon hotel

Come visit the Gordon Hotel with Ben Messner and Ashlyn Foret as they talk about the buildings history that continues to impact the Downtown Lafayette area!


visiting the cajun catholics

This here is the current iteration of the St. John the Evangelist Cathedral in Lafayette, Louisiana. Christine Savoie and Matthew Pitre will give you a brief history and directions to this beautiful location right outside downtown Lafayette.


hanging out at judice inn

Hang out with Kaleb Moore and Kassi Mcallister as they discuss the history and significance of Judice Inn to the Lafayette community. Though it may be a bit of a walk from the downtown area, it is one worth making due to the restaurant’s status as a cultural landmark.