- Purchase/rental options available:
On February 10, 1930, a white police officer, Charles Guerand, attempted to rape fourteen-year-old Hattie McCray in the New Orleans restaurant where she worked. Prevented from attacking her, Guerand proceeded to shoot and kill the black teenager. McCray's death disrupted Jim Crow discourses of race, justice and black women's sexuality. When McCray was killed, Onelia Sayas Cherrie was a fourteen-year-old student at the only New Orleans high school designated for black students. The girls were born in the same year, both defined as “colored” in a racialized society. Mrs. Cherrie passed away, seventy-five years after McCray, as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Her death highlights silences in twenty-first-century discourses of race, justice and government accountability. These women's stories reveal two crucial moments in generational memory and highlight questions regarding silence and accountability in New Orleans.