Gentleman's Philosophy

My Biggest Lesson from Louisiana

Afternoon gents, it’s Max from the Young Gentleman’s Guide here! So, for those of who know me personally or follow me on my personal social media, you’ll most likely that I went on a trip to Louisiana, United States for the New Year. I had a wonderful time, visited some dear friends, and finally got to visit my dream city, the jazz capital of the world, New Orleans! However, there was also a lot that I learned while I was there, not just about the culture and the people, but what I think is a good lesson for all young gentlemen to take to heart: the preservation of history. Allow me to elaborate.

Disclaimer: I know I tend to stay away from political topics on this blog, and I want to clarify that I don’t mean for this to come across as me pushing a certain political ideology. I’m just hoping to offer my own my own point of view based on my personal experience, not any political ideology.

So, it should come as no surprise that the state of Louisiana was more or less a hub of one of the most shameful points in American history: the African slave trade. Because of its prevalence throughout the southern United States, especially Louisiana for so long, and even the effects of it still heavily rippling through the area after the Civil War, many generations of African Americans were at the mercy the white man. Whether it was slavery itself, Jim Crow laws, segregation, voter suppression, the state of Louisiana has certainly had a less than favorable history. However, instead of looking to erase said history, I seemed to notice that many of those in the state still acknowledge it, and in some cases, embrace it. By embrace it, I don’t mean look back on it for reasons of wanting to go back to that time (though I’m not denying that there may be people out there who genuinely want that), rather, they look as it as a symbol of advancement and progress, and they also look at the myriad of positive things that have come from such a dark time in history.

Yes, despite the objectively shameful things that had transpired throughout Louisiana’s… storied history to say the very best of it, there are many who acknowledge that there are quite a few favorable things that have come from it as well, especially where culture is concerned. The slaves brought many of their own cultural influences with them, which over time, began to not only blend with the English/Dutch influences that the original settlers had brought with them, but also the French influence from the colonizers who had been in the area prior. This resulted in the development of such a unique and vibrant culture that hasn’t been seen anywhere else in the world, let alone the United States. Not only did it lead to new developments in the world of cuisine, resulting in culinary phenomena like gumbo, jambalaya, etouffée, red beans and rice, and the like, but there were also completely new linguistic developments with almost entirely new dialects of English and French, and a revolution in the world of music with the creation of jazz. None of this is to say that the enslavement of Africans was in any way ethical or favorable, because it absolutely wasn’t, but without it, many of these things would have never happened or existed.

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So what exactly am I saying here? What I’m trying to say is that the biggest thing I learned while traversing Louisiana is that all aspects of history, good and bad, should be preserved, and that the people of Louisiana, at least from what I saw, do a wonderful job of that. Not only does the preservation of history show the people how far they’ve come as a society, but such a history resulted in an entirely unique culture that the people of Louisiana and the southern United States can call their very own. But most importantly, the preservation of history should serve as a reminder of how far we’ve come so as never to go back, because as the old adage goes, those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it.

New Orleans Cathedral

Apologies if this article seemed all over the place, this is just a bit of a complicated subject for me to tackle. All I’m trying to say is that a gentleman should do everything in his power to preserve history. The good, the bad, the ugly, the personal, the familial, the societal, it all deserves to preserved or in some cases, embraced. In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s article. Please be sure to share the article, follow the blog, follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and support us on Patreon. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!

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