Doctor of Philosophy
Education, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
Date of Defense
Dr. Thomasina Hassler, Ph.D.
Dr. JaNae Alfred, Ph.D.
Dr. Tom Hoerr, Ph.D.
Dr. Robert Good, Ph.D.
By concentrating on one of the tenets of Critical Race Theory (Harper et al., 2009), counter-narrative, this study focused on: (1) the history of New Orleans prior to the Louisiana Purchase; (2) the inception, history, and advancements of Black Catholic education prior to Brown v. Board of Education; and (3) controversies in Black Catholic education post-Katrina.
By delving into the history of New Orleans, I will assert that The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans struggled with whiteness as property and an ardent desire to present a narrative embodied by interest convergence in historically-Black Catholic secondary schools since each school’s inception.
The Archdiocese’s narrative was widely accepted as fact until Hurricane Katrina.
This storm was a turning point in Black Catholic education in New Orleans. It illuminated the history of systemic and institutionalized racism within a faith organization that purports a legacy of inclusion and diversity. Detailing my background as a native-born New Orleanian with a Black Catholic education, I will chronicle events as a participant observer of various public challenges between the Archdiocese of New Orleans, led by Archbishop Aymond, and several Black Catholic secondary schools.
These observations are substantiated by data collection and analysis, so I utilized them to highlight post-Katrina controversies in Black Catholic education in New Orleans while providing a CRT analysis of historical events prior to Brown v. Board of Education. While the Black spaces are neither transferable nor physical, they must constantly be defended against the neo-liberal turn in Black politics and whitewashing in historically-Black educational institutions. My counter-narrative will argue that since the inception of Black Catholic education in New Orleans, the Archdiocese has utilized interest convergence, whiteness as property, and racial realism to perpetuate systemic racism in its school system.
Morrell, Anisha, "Up the Bayou Without a Paddle: A Historical Case Study of Black Catholic Education in New Orleans Post-Katrina" (2023). Dissertations. 1347.
Available for download on Friday, January 24, 2025