Baton Rouge is colloquially known and literally translated from the French meaning Red Stick. The origin of this name- stemming from a thirty foot pole erected on Scott's Bluff by native tribes marking the boundary between nations- has been widely disseminated and discussed. However, in modern times a new line of demarcation has emerged, separating North from South, black from white, and in many ways, the haves from the have-nots.
Redlining is the official practice of grouping black people into specific communities and then denying those same neighborhoods of resources, infrastructure, and investment. Though no longer officially sanctioned, a red line still exists in Baton Rouge and in cities all over America. Cross Florida Boulevard headed north and you will enter a land starved of adequate food choices, healthcare, and economic development. That area is also home to many hardworking individuals, loving families, and some of our most creative, pioneering spirits.
This series was born out of the turmoil and conflict experienced over an eight week period in the summer of 2016. Emboldened, we strive to expose this division, eradicate its existence, and reveal the heart of a community.
This is our thesis, our manifesto.