#streetsignsmatter Rename Robert E. Lee Blvd. to Leah Chase Blvd.

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The A.P. Tureaud Legacy Committee is petitioning to rename Robert E. Lee. Blvd to Leah Chase Blvd. We have organized and launched a campaign to rename New Orleans landmarks and end the idolization of the confederacy. For far too long, we have honored and glorified racist individuals who fought to continue the practice of slavery and the oppression of black people. Robert E. Lee was the commander of the confederate army during the Civil War. The veil has been pulled off of the mythology surrounding Robert E. Lee. He was a cruel slave owner known for breaking up families. 

Leah Chase is one of the most beloved people ever to live in New Orleans. Known as the “Queen of Creole Cuisine,” Leah Chase was born on January 6, 1923 in New Orleans, Chase was one of 14 children. She was raised in the small town of Madisonville, LA. There were no high schools for black children, so after sixth grade, Chase moved to New Orleans to live with an aunt. After completing high school, Chase had a colorful work history including managing two amateur boxers and becoming the first woman to mark the racehorse board for a local bookie. Her favorite job, though, was waiting tables in the French Quarter. It was here that she developed her love for food and feeding others.

In 1946, she married local musician Edgar “Dooky” Chase Jr., whose father had opened a street corner stand selling lottery tickets and his wife’s homemade po’boy sandwiches. Eventually, Leah and Dooky Jr. took over the business, which by then had become a sit-down restaurant and a favorite local gathering place.


In a town deeply divided by segregation, Dooky Chase’s Restaurant was one of the only public places in New Orleans where mixed race groups could meet to discuss strategy for the local Civil Rights Movement. Although such gatherings were illegal through most of the 1960s, Dooky Chase’s was so popular; it would have caused a public uproar if local law enforcement had interrupted the meetings. Black voter registration campaign organizers, the NAACP, backdoor political meetings and countless others often found a home at Dooky Chase’s, and Leah cooked for them all.

It's time for a change New Orleans!