Located in the little river town of Donaldsonville, once the commercial center for the Bayou Lafourche district, the River Road African American Heritage Museum features materials relating to slavery and African American life in the neighboring sugar parishes. No other venue in the state offers such a detailed and intimate portrait of African American life in a particular place and time.
Exhibits include an interactive kiosk of freedom stories from Southeastern Louisiana’s Underground Railroad plus displays on rural black doctors, Creole life in the town and surrounding countryside, the rural roots of jazz music, black inventors, folk artists, and Reconstruction. To aid in genealogical research, the museum also features slave inventories containing the names of over 5,000 enslaved people from various plantations in Louisiana.
The staff has done an excellent job of combing through old records to reclaim a history and tradition that had faded with time and cultural change. Although small in space, the museum is packed with information outlining the history and accomplishments of the local black community.