THE ICON: Joseph M. Bartholomew
THE LEGACY: “He was a giver,” Ruth Creech in 1999 in describing her father, Joseph M. Bartholomew. “He was not a receiver.” That, it turns out, is a perfect introduction to the barrier-breaking man who had a hand in building some of the city’s premiere golf courses — even though segregation laws during Jim Crow kept him from playing on them. Gentle, generous and something approaching genius when it came to anything to do with golf, Joe Bartholomew wasn’t the kind of person to dwell on his accomplishments or to demand recognition for them. Rather, he was a quiet inspiration, to black and white New Orleanians alike, who with his own two hands spent much of his life working to build a better New Orleanians.
THE ARTIST: Connie Kittok, WhereYart.net
THE INSPIRATION: “He never mentioned it. Never talked about it. What we knew about segregation we found out from other people. We didn’t know segregation. We played with everybody in the neighborhood: black, white, Jewish. Every Christmas, we’d spend at Edgar Stern’s house. No one segregated my father as an individual.” — Ruth Creech, in a 1999 interview with The Times-Picayune