NEW ORLEANS—If you’re black and belly up to a bar on Bourbon Street, be forewarned: You run a 50-50 chance of either being charged more or being forced to order a minimum number of drinks.
Those are the findings of a study done for the city in the wake of the death of a black college student who died in a scuffle with white bouncers outside a bar on the famous French Quarter thoroughfare.
The study, conducted by the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, paired black and white men of similar body type, dress and manner, and sent them into bars within minutes of each other.
Of the 28 bars visited, 40 percent charged the black customers more for drinks. A white man, for example, bought a Long Island iced tea for $7.50, while the black man was charged $9, according to James Perry, executive director of the private, nonprofit housing center.
Ten percent of the bars informed the blacks—but not the whites—that there was a drink minimum, and 7 percent told their black customers that they would have to meet a dress code.