Chief of Chiefs: Robert Nathaniel Lee and the Mardi Gras Indians of New Orleans, 1915-2001

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A glimpse into the legacy of the “chief of chiefs.” Robert Nathanial Lee, known as Chief Robbe, was the first and only person to be named “chief of chiefs” by the Mardi Gras Indian Council. From his birth in 1915, Chief Robbe faced hardship and discrimination, but he always found a way to do what he believed in. By the end of his life in 2001, he had been the Big Chief of four different tribes, given a lecture at Yale University, and become a role model for generations of New Orleans black youth. Author Al Kennedy enhances the story of Chief Robbe’s life with extensive detail and interviews from their personal relationship, creating a biography perfect for both New Orleanians and those who simply love the city.
ISBN: 9781455623792
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Pelican Publishing
State: Louisiana
Images: 35
Pages: 208
Dimensions: 6 (w) x 9 (h)
Al Kennedy is an award-winning author and professor of American history at the University of New Orleans. A retired communications coordinator with the New Orleans Public Schools District, he has been a featured speaker at the University of New Orleans lecture series and on local television and radio programs. His work has appeared in Louisiana Weekly and the Mississippi Rag, and he was interviewed for a special edition of the literary journal Callaloo. Kennedy's areas of focus have shed light on the history of local public schools, the musical heritage of New Orleans, and the Mardi Gras Indians. His previous book, Chord Changes on the Chalkboard: How Public School Teachers Shaped Jazz and the Music of New Orleans, received numerous awards, including the Jazztown Award, the Henry Kmen Award, the New Orleans International Music Colloquium Jazz Supporter Award, and the Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame Blue Eagle Award. Kennedy was included among notable Louisiana and national writers at the 2003 Louisiana Book Festival. Kennedy earned a B.A. from Loyola University, followed by a master's degree in public administration and a Ph.D. in urban studies/urban history from the University of New Orleans. He enjoys jazz, photography, and volunteering for the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame. Kennedy resides in Metairie, Louisiana, with his family. 4/09
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