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Rousseve, Charles B. (1902-1993) | Amistad Research Center

Name: Rousseve, Charles B. (1902-1993)
Fuller Form: Rousseve, Charles Barthelemy

Historical Note:

Charles B. Rousseve, an educator and historian with his own deep family connections to New Orleans history, was a pioneering historian tracking the literary and historic contributions of African Americans. Charles was the eldest of eight children of Barthelemy and Valentine Mansion Rousseve. He was the great-grandson of Lucien Mansion, militant civic worker and writer during the Civil War and Reconstruction periods, and a great-great-grandson of Dominique Foster, who was under General Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815.

Rousseve was the valedictorian of his class at Xavier Preparatory School, received an undergraduate degree from Straight College, a master's degree in history from Xavier University, continued his graduate studies at the University of Chicago, and received an honorary PhD from Xavier University. On February 2, 1924, he married Valerie Theresa Bowie of New Orleans, who died on January 3, 1929. Rousseve later married Mildred Celeste Robichaux, herself a New Orleans educator and librarian, on January 31, 1931; the couple had five children: Charles S. Rousseve, Theresa R. Glass, twins Roland and Ronald Rousseve, and Yolande R. Eugere.

Rousseve was an educator and administrator in the New Orleans Public Schools, where he worked for 45 years. Twenty-one years were spent as a teacher, and he worked for 24 years as a principal of Julius Rosenwald and Johnson Lockett Elementary Schools, Samuel J. Green and Carter G. Woodson Junior High Schools, and Booker T. Washington Senior High School, from which he retired in 1966. He also spent summers and evenings teaching French, English, and education at Straight, Xavier and Southern Universities. An accomplished musician, Rousseve published poetry and prose - as well as his translations of the same from French - in publications ranging from The Louisiana Weekly, Columbia Magazine, and various poetry anthologies. His 1937 book The Negro in Louisiana: Aspects of His History and His Literature remains an influential work, and it was the first book-length work published by the Xavier University Press.

Mr. Rousseve held memberships in the NAACP, the New Orleans Urban League, the Knights of Peter Clavier, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, the Friends of the Amistad, the B-Sharp Music Club, Orleans Principals Association, High School Principals Association, the Louisiana Education Association, and the National Education Association. He was also a dedicated member of the Board of Directors of the Amistad Research Center.

Sources: Charles B. Rousseve papers

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