From the New Orleans Times-Picayune (reg req'd):

Beware: Something as trivial as a baseball cap can get you kicked out of a Bourbon Street bar -- if you're black. And your drink may cost more, maybe a lot more if you're dunned for a phony cover charge.

Those are some of the everyday alarms sounded in the long-awaited city report of alleged racial discrimination in Bourbon Street bars, a study that initially was kept secret as public uproar over the death of a young black man at the hands of white Bourbon Street bouncers drew international attention to the famous entertainment district.

Fifteen Bourbon Street establishments either hassled black customers more than white ones, or charged African-American "testers" more than white ones for the same drink, according to the report prepared by the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Network, a copy of which was obtained from the city by The Times-Picayune.


[New Orleans Mayor Ray] Nagin ordered the study in the aftermath of the death of Levon Jones, a black Georgia college student who perished after scuffling with white bouncers in front of Razzoo Bar & Patio. The three bouncers have been booked with negligent homicide in a case that has not yet gone before a grand jury, authorities said.