Excited and grateful to announce my participation in the upcoming and much anticipated #OldProProject!
The #oldproproject is offered through collaboration between Old Pro Inc. and the Social Good Fund, and, “seeks to elevate sex worker history through art, and to strengthen community networks by funding and supporting collaborative projects”.
“We believe that by reclaiming our place in history, we can claim our human rights for generations past, present, and future”.
As a former sex worker, it is a great honor to participate in the overall movement for sex worker rights and decriminalization through art and writing. Over the next several months you can expect a historically accurate, creative non-fictional rendering of aspects of Storyville—New Orlean’s famed and possibly the most nationally sensationalized legal red light district. It was a place of deep SWer economic empowerment, especially for women of color.
Storyville was a site where racial and gender lines blurred in post-civil war New Orleans and the U.S. at large. The racial binary did not apply whereas elsewhere white supremacy in the form of Jim Crow laws sought to maintain its dominance. Within the bounds of Storyville, women had arguably more social and economic autonomy than in other segments of society.
Storyville was officially closed by the U.S. Dept of the Navy in 1917—also the same year of the first documented sex worker protest which occurred in the Tenderloin District in San Francisco. Sex workers there protested the closure of their brothel, and demanded affordable housing, accessible health care, childcare, and fair wages—all conditions that sex workers continue to fight for more than 100 years later.
Stay tuned for more stories about Storyville (pun intended, unfortunately), its (in)famous and powerful madams, and more information about contemporary activist efforts for sex worker decriminalization in New Orleans, the State of Louisiana, and the U.S. overall!