We can’t think of a better way to kick off this important project.

By Meghan Overdeep
May 06, 2021
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The Louisiana Office of Tourism installed the first of many markers on the Louisiana Civil Rights Trail Monday.  

Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser and the Chase family were on hand for the reveal of a six-foot-tall steel silhouette of a protestor erected outside Dooky Chase's Restaurant, the world-famous New Orleans eatery that served as a safe meeting place for civil rights workers.

"Dooky Chase's Restaurant in Tremé, the nation's oldest African-American neighborhood, welcomed activists to Creole cuisine and a secret upstairs meeting room where extensive strategizing took place," the trail's website says of the historic restaurant.

Leah Chase, widely considered to be the "Queen of Creole Cuisine," and her husband Edgar Lawrence "Dooky" Chase, Jr. ran Dooky Chase's Restaurant for more than 50 years. Over the generations, luminaries, presidents and countless regular folk have dined on Leah's unforgettable Creole dishes.

After Leah's passing in 2019 at the age of 96, the restaurant has been in the hands of the couple's children and grandchildren.

"To have a black, a six-foot-tall, steel-framed marker unveiled in front of Dooky Chase's is the biggest honor we could hope for at Dooky's," Edgar "Dooky" Chase III told WVUE.

The Louisiana Civil Rights Trail a series of 15 markers across the state accompanied by an interactive website detailing the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 60s.

Nungesser told NOLA.com that the trail was inspired by the U.S. Civil Rights Trail, adding that he feels that it's important to educate generations to come about the struggles black people faced in the segregated South.

"There's no better time than now to honor those heroes," he said.

For more information, visit LouisianaCivilRightsTrail.com.