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Remember the Ladies: Lulu White

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Lulu White was a brothel madam, procuress and entrepreneur in New Orleans, Louisiana during the Storyville period. An eccentric figure, she was noted for her love of jewelry, her many failed business ventures, and her rap sheet that extended in New Orleans as far back as 1880.

The exact dates of White’s birth and death are not known. She was born on a farm near Selma, Alabama, but claimed to be an immigrant from the West Indies. Publicity from about 1906 claimed (probably falsely) that she was 31 years old. She was of mixed race, and enjoyed, for a time, affluence rare for those of African American descent. [Wikipedia]

When the Storyville district of New Orleans was established, White took advantage of the situation and built a four-story marble mansion at 235 Basin Street. Called Mahogany Hall and nicknamed the “Hall of Mirrors,” it had five lavish parlors and 15 bedrooms with mirrors installed at the head and foot of each bed.

Storyville’s glamour began to fade, and by 1915 the entire district had only 700 prostitutes, and Mahogany Hall only eight regulars. By Federal order, it was closed in 1917. She was last seen alive in 1941, but no one knows when or how she died. [Remember the Ladies, Kirsten Olsen]

Author: barenose

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