At one time Black Pearl was part of Carrollton, a “suburb” of New Orleans established around 1835. The New Orleans and Carrollton Railroad, which ferried commuters from Carrollton to New Orleans, was a significant contributor to the rapid growth of the area. This Railroad line, now known as the St. Charles Streetcar, is still operating. Black Pearl was sparsely populated until after New Orleans fell to Union troops early in the Civil War. This neighborhood historically was inhabited by both domestic workers and the affluent families for whom they worked. Many large homes and apartment buildings line the St. Charles Ave. border of Black Pearl. The streets closest to the river are classic New Orleans: shotgun houses interspersed with corner stores and churches. This part of Black Pearl has been fertile ground for New Orleans’ indigenous musical talent. Mahalia Jackson – who’s gospel singing introduced Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington D.C – used to sing at Mount Moriah Baptist Church on Millaudon St. in Black Pearl. Other notable residents of the Black Pearl include American Impressionist, William Woodward, who became head of Newcomb College of Art and Georges Clemenceau, grandson of the French Premier during WWI.
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