Holy Cross Church

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Holy Cross Church
Holy Cross Church

My parents are from the Midwest. My father’s mother arrived in Chicago from Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, when she was seventeen, and worked in the Clausen pickle factory and the meat packing industry until she was hired as a cook for the community settlement house. My father’s father was a radical organizer from Malden, Missouri, and a traveling salesman who preferred the anonymity of the YMCA to settling down. My mother’s German/Norwegian parents migrated from small towns in Wisconsin to make a better life in Milwaukee. My grandfather was a bus driver and my grandmother worked across town as a domestic on the wealthy East Side, until she established her own catering business. My parents came to New Orleans in the early 1960s, during a tumultuous time of civil rights sit-ins and segregation. I was born in New Orleans in 1964. My father liked to say that I was the only native-born New Orleanian in the family -- a small claim in a city populated with families stretching back generations. When my parents decided to make New Orleans home and to find a church for their young family, they initially went to the Lutheran church in their neighborhood. When my father asked if the congregation was integrated, the pastor proudly declared that it was not and that we would have to go to a black church if we wanted to “be part of that.” So, my parents joined Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Pontchartrain Park, one of the earliest African American subdivisions. 

Place(s): New Orleans, Pontchartrain Park
Year: 1964

– Dana Logsdon

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant