Segment 1


Lavenia Hickman Breaux was born in Slidell, Louisiana in 1917. Breaux is 94 years old at the time of this interview. Breaux did not realize she was living through a Depression. Her parents were poor but she was happy. Her father was a laborer. Her mother was a laundress. Breaux is grateful for her upbringing because it allows her to appreciate people. She was a young girl when she came to New Orleans. She was brought to Canal Street on a wagon. The horse stopped at the intersection of Krause’s store and Canal. The train came in and parked next to Krause. There was a man and a woman sitting there. There were other horses around pulling people in wagons. Canal Street was like a big field to Breaux. There were not many stores on Canal Street. People stopped to go into Krause’s off of the train. Most of Breaux’s possessions were on a train. They lived uptown. Horse and wagon was the only transportation they had. People were friendly. Breaux enjoyed other people and their company. Breaux also went to church. She is happy that she was raised appreciating religion. New Orleans was a safe and nice place compared to today. They had speakeasies but Breaux was forbid to go by her brother. Breaux believes it would be beneficial to teach children to do things for others. The real beauty of her upbringing was that she was able to appreciate good things in her life. Breaux believes certain people should be encouraged to join the military. People should also believe in and follow the law. Breaux used to follow the second lines in New Orleans when someone died. She got a good whipping one time because she followed a second line too far. Breaux’s big sister had a job washing dishes for a family after school. Breaux used to go with her and help her out and wait for her. She learned how to appreciate a few dollars. Her brother used to shine shoes on Tulane’s campus.


All oral histories featured on this site are available to license. The videos will be delivered via mail as Hi Definition video on DVD/DVDs or via file transfer. You will be purchasing the oral history in its entirety but will be free to use only specific clips. Please contact the Museum at if you are interested in licensing this content. Please allow up to two weeks for file delivery or delivery of the DVD to your postal address. See more information at