A Louisiana Family Discovers Their South Asian Roots
South Asians began arriving in significant numbers during the late 1800s. Most were men who settled in communities of color and faced segregation and laws against intermarriage with whites. Many formed multiracial families like Moksad Ali, a Bengali Muslim trader, who married an African American woman, Ella Blackman. Together they navigated race in an era of anti-Asian exclusion and Jim Crow.