Go Down Moses

Anonymous 1800

William Faulkner entitled his book Go Down Moses for the Black Spiritual song.

Louis Armstrong the grandson of slaves, was born in the poor neighborhood of “the Battlefield” part of Storyville. Shortly after he was born in New Orleans his father left the family, and sometime afterward his mother left him in care of his younger sister and his grandmother.

His musical talent gave him a way to get money by playing and singing on the streets with three other boys. Louis found work with a kindly Jewish family in a junk hauling business. The Karnofskys knew Louis was fatherless and took him in. In the bosom of a loving family Louis blossomed. He wrote a memoir of his relationship with them entitled Louis Armstrong + the Jewish Family in New Orleans, La., the Year of 1907. He learned the family suffered discrimination as he did. In the book he wrote: “other white folks” nationalities who felt that they were better than the Jewish race… “I was only seven years old but I could easily see the ungodly treatment that the White Folks were handing the poor Jewish family whom he worked.” wikipedia

Louis wore a Star of David pendant all of his life in memory of what the family taught him about real life and determination. The Karnofsky Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to accepting musical instruments for the boys and girls in New Orleans who are eager to play, and wouldn’t be able to participate in a wonderful learning experience.




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