Spectacular Wickedness Sex, Race, and Memory in Storyville, New Orleans

ISBN-10: 0807150142

ISBN-13: 9780807150146

Edition: 2013

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Description:

From 1897 to 1917 the red-light district of Storyville commercialized and even thrived on New Orleans's longstanding reputation for sin and sexual excess. This notorious neighborhood, located just outside of the French Quarter, hosted a diverse cast of characters who reflected the cultural milieu and complex social structure of turn-of-the-century New Orleans, a city infamous for both prostitution and interracial intimacy. In particular, Lulu White--a mixed-race prostitute and madam--created an image of herself and marketed it profitably to sell sex with light-skinned women to white men of means. In Spectacular Wickedness, Emily Epstein Landau examines the social history of this famed district within the cultural context of developing racial, sexual, and gender ideologies and practices.Storyville's founding was envisioned as a reform measure, an effort by the city's business elite to curb and contain prostitution--namely, to segregate it. In 1890, the Louisiana legislature passed the Separate Car Act, which, when challenged by New Orleans's Creoles of color, led to the landmark Plessy v. Ferguson decision in 1896, constitutionally sanctioning the enactment of "separate but equal" laws. The concurrent partitioning of both prostitutes and blacks worked only to reinforce Storyville's libidinous license and turned sex across the color line into a more lucrative commodity. By looking at prostitution through the lens of patriarchy and demonstrating how gendered racial ideologies proved crucial to the remaking of southern society in the aftermath of the Civil War, Landau reveals how Storyville's salacious and eccentric subculture played a significant role in the way New Orleans constructed itself during the New South era.
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Book details

List price: $39.95
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
Publication date: 1/14/2013
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 336
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.408
Language: English

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Land of Dreams
The Promised Land of Harlotry
The Quadroon Connection
Public Rights and Public Women
Where the Light and Dark Folks Meet
Diamond Queen
The Last Stronghold of the Old Regime
Conclusion: Farewell to Storyville
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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