With a magisterial sweep, this stirring 2008 video by New Orleans native Dawn Logsdon documents the prominence of African-Americans in the Big Easy from colonial times to the present. Treme—today the Sixth Ward—was integrated from its inception as an 18th-century suburb, becoming home to a large number of former slaves who had bought their freedom. These early citizens pursued their education and started businesses prior to the Civil War, and their descendants were the earliest proponents of the civil rights movement. Writer and codirector Lolis Eric Elie, columnist for the Times-Picayune
, gives a guided tour of the ward, and the extensive footage shot before Hurricane Katrina underlines the region's loss.