who we are
who we are
The Descendants Project is an emerging organization committed to the intergenerational healing and flourishing of the Black descendant community in the Louisiana river parishes. The lands of the river parishes hold the intersecting histories of enslavement, settler colonialism, and environmental degradation.
We are descended from the enslaved men, women, and children who were forced to labor at one or more of the hundreds of plantations that line the Mississippi River from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. Starting in the 1970s, large industrial petrochemical plants began purchasing the land of these plantations still surrounded by vulnerable Black descendant communities. The region is now known as "Cancer Alley" for the extreme risks of cancer and death due to pollution. The community faces many other problems such as food insecurity, high unemployment, high poverty, land dispossession, and health issues that stem from a culture of disregard for Black communities and their quality of life.
Through programming, education, advocacy, and outreach, The Descendants Project is committed to reversing the vagrancies of slavery through healing and restorative work. We aim to eliminate the narrative violence of plantation tourism and champion the voice of the Black descendant community while demanding action that supports the total well-being of Black descendants.