Louisiana and the Francophonie

Today's episode is about the story behind Louisiana becoming a member of the Francophonie, also known as l'Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie.

The Francophonie is comprised of 84 countries, provinces, and one state (Louisiana) whose membership works together to celebrate and preserve French language and culture.

To help us learn about the Francophonie and Louisiana's role in it, I'm joined by Scott Tilton and Rudy Bazenet.

Scott is a New Orleans native who developed a passion for the French language as a child and led the charge to lobby Louisiana's leadership to apply for admission to the Francophonie.

Rudy Bazenet works in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and partnered with Scott on this project.

We discuss the road to membership, Louisiana's rich French history, and more.


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Thank You

Thanks to Scott Tilton and Rudy Bazent for being my guest on today's episode.

A special thanks to Greg Tilton for introducing me to Scott, and for turning me on to this story. Greg has his own podcast called Rumor Flies. It is what you would get if you mashed up Myth Busters and Snopes, and made that into a podcast!

Thanks also to Joel Sharpton from Pro Podcasting Services for being the intro voice of the Beyond Bourbon Street podcast.


If you would like to learn more about the topics we discussed today, Scott and Rudy recommended these resources.

  • Overview: Creole New Orleans: Race and Americanization (Louisiana State University Press, 1992) for an overview of Creole New Orleans.
  • Musical connections: Louis Armstrong’s New Orleans (Thomas Brothers, 2006) for an overview of the Creole cultural connection to the creation of jazz.
  • Contemporary culture and revival: Here’s a video of a French-speaking group based in New Orleans called Sweet Crude. The video was shot in New Orleans and is called Mon Esprit.
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