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Defender Picks


Who Comes Next?

Oscar J. Dunn, America's First Black Lieutenant Governor

Each week, historian Sean Michael Chick will highlight some of the country's unsung heroes during the Civil War era who could serve as positive replacements following the takedown of New Orleans' Confederate monuments. This week, learn about the country's first black Lieutenant Governor, Oscar J. Dunn. 

Free Style

The Fourth of July in Photos

This past weekend, Americans from sea to shining sea celebrated the beauty of the red, white, and blue. We already know that NOLA is one of the best places in the country to throw down in the name of being free, and this year the city did not disappoint. Photographer Brandon Robert captured some of the star-spangled celebrations, from Monday's 3rd of July party in City Park featuring the Marine Corps Band to the main event on Tuesday, shot around Bayou St. John. 


Promotin’ the General Welfare

Born on the Fourth of July

There was something magical when everyone began Louis Armstrong’s story with, “He was born on the Fourth of July.”  


More than the symbolic birth of the United States, that Louis Armstrong was said to be born on that day and eventually became America’s great cultural ambassador: there was something quintessentially American about that whole myth.  

Horoscopes for Week of July 3rd

If there is one thing you do this week leading up to Saturday’s full moon in regal Capricorn, make time to feel yourself. dance in the mirror, post a bomb selfie, masturbate, give yourself a massage…for real, feel yourself.


This full moon ain’t no joke and i will get into all of that, but the real magic this moon is offering us is to turn ourselves on to our own power to be the major authorities in our lives. 


Perfectly Imperfect

Grammy Winner Elle Varner Sounds Off on Artistic Inspiration

On Sunday night (7.2), Three Keys at The Ace Hotel hosted Soul in the Horn, brought to us by Essentials. True to the experience of Essentials, Soul in the Horn was a collaborative mash-up hosted and graced by the vocals of Elle Varner and other trending artists, as well as featuring legends of the NYC nightlife, D. Prosper and DJ Natasha Diggs. NoDef was able to interview Elle shortly before taking the Three Keys stage. We talked about her interesting upbringing, her experiences recording with artists such as Chance the Rapper (with whom she won a Grammy) and J Cole, her awards successes, and her plans for the future. 


NOLA Lore: French Quarter Haunts

Each week, J.A. Lloyd will take readers through the secret and unexamined legends, myths, and folklore of New Orleans past. This week, learn the stories behind three haunted Quarter destinations. 


Finding the Big Voice

Teedra Moses Talks Social Change, Celebrity, and Her NOLA Roots

Three Keys at Ace Hotel is hosting an intimate Essence Fest after party called Essentials, and it’s providing an opportunity “for local artists that may not be on the Essence bill this year but maybe could be would be or should be,” according to Jocelyne Ninneman, the music director at Ace New Orleans. Essentials features countless DJ’s as well as too-class acts such as PJ Morton, Grammy nominated Elle Varner, Teedra Moses, and features numerous guest performances. Teedra Moses sat down with NoDef after her show to talk about growing up in New Orleans and California and what it means to make music in 2017 America. 


Star-Spangled Spectacular

Where to Celebrate Fourth of July in New Orleans

This long weekend, Americans from sea to shining sea will be celebrating the Fourth of July. We already know that NOLA is one of the best places in the country to throw down in the name of being free, and the city has a great many options for you to choose from this holiday weekend. Read on for NoDef's top picks in Orleans Parish. 

The Cost of the Affordable Housing Crisis

The Policy Breakdown

New Orleans' affordable housing crisis is certainly not isolated to this one city in the country. The present state of housing in the Crescent City follows a national trend where urban property values are increasing at rates which push impoverished, marginalized communities out of urban centers. According to the Smart House Mix Ordinance Study, produced by New Orleans’ city planning commission, residents unable to afford increasing rent, property taxes, and lifestyle costs are forced to pay back the value realized in increasing housing costs through more limited access to transportation and social services that are typically more accessible near urban centers.


Film Review: Handsome Devil

Being a teenager a pretty damn awful, let’s be honest. On top of exams, navigating romances, and all those hormones raging through your body, there’s also that little matter of trying to make sense of who you are and who you are becoming. There’s a reason why people have connected to coming-of-age movies generation after generation. Handsome Devil, the John Butler-directed film set to be released in New Orleans this week, is a welcome LGBTQ addition to the genre. 


Who Comes Next?

George Washington Cable, the Father of Southern Literature

Each week, historian Sean Michael Chick will highlight some of the country's unsung heroes during the Civil War era who could serve as positive replacements following the takedown of New Orleans' Confederate monuments. This week, learn about the NOLA born writer and critic George Washington Cable. 


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Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Alexis Manrodt, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde


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Michael Weber, B.A.


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Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

Alexis Manrodt

B. E. Mintz

Stephen Babcock

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