Showdown in Desire
The Black Panthers Take a Stand in New Orleans
Orissa Arend
Foreword by Charles E. Jones
Introduction by Curtis J. Austin

A look back at a powerful moment in New Orleans’s history

“An admirably researched manuscript that illuminates an important yet overlooked chapter of African American history in New Orleans.”
—Lance Hill, author of The Deacons for Defense: Armed Resistance and
the Civil Rights Movement

“Orissa Arend has done her homework . . . she has managed to help disseminate and preserve the legacy of the Black Panther party, more specifically, the New Orleans chapter.”
—Robert H. King, a.k.a Robert King Wilkerson, freed member of the Angola 3 and author of From the Bottom of the Heap: The Autobiography of Black Panther Robert Hillary King

“Orissa Arend has forced us to see these self-defense militants from every point of view imaginable. Moving, informative, and in places side-splittingly funny, Showdown in Desire restores to Technicolor memory a chapter of civil rights history too often neglected. The book deserves a wide audience.”
Lawrence N. Powell, Tulane University

Showdown in Desire portrays the Black Panther Party in New Orleans in 1970, a year that included a shootout with the police on Piety Street, the creation of survival programs, and the daylong standoff between the Panthers and the police in the Desire housing development. Through interviews with Malik Rahim, the Panther; Robert H. King, Panther and member of the Angola 3; Larry Preston Williams, the black policeman; Moon Landrieu, the mayor; Henry Faggen, the Desire resident; Robert Glass, the white lawyer; Jerome LeDoux, the black priest; William Barnwell, the white priest; and many others, Orissa Arend tells a nuanced story that unfolds amid guns, tear gas, desperate poverty, oppression, and inflammatory rhetoric to
capture the palpable spirit of rebellion, resistance, and revolution of an incendiary summer in New Orleans.

Orissa Arend is a mediator, freelance journalist, and psychotherapist in private practice in New Orleans. She has written for the Louisiana Weekly, the New Orleans Tribune, and the Times-Picayune.

Charles E. Jones is associate professor and founding chair of the Department of African-American Studies at Georgia State University. He is the editor of Black Panther Party Reconsidered.

Curtis J. Austin is associate professor of history and director of the Center for Black Studies at the University of Southern Mississippi. He is the author of Up Against the Wall: Violence in the Making and Unmaking of the Black Panther Party.

6 x 9, 216 pages, 31 photographs, index
$29.95 cloth
ISBN 978-1-55728-896-7 | 1-55728-896-8