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Growing Up New Orleans

Oma is a German/Dutch term for grandmother, or beloved one, and it embraces the spirit of motherhood and nurturing. Here are some real family stories and adventures. You will see that the women (the omas) are often the central characters in these stories of Growing Up New Orleans. Our omas often served as silent partners in our own American history.

These tales are about me and my parents, family, and friends. We were among the first settlers to brave the crossing of the Mississippi River, entering the new and exciting life in New Orleans as we landed in the West Bank neighborhood of Algiers. The Mississippi River Bridge also paved a path for our own “growing up”—one full of adventures and enduring friendships!

The omas in New Orleans can be found in our schools, where we had some remarkable experiences, but also they were a part of our everyday life—the cooks, mothers, doctors, the artists, and grandmothers. They raised us and taught important lessons about life and death … and by the way, they weren’t so silent!

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Growing Up New Orleans