Filmmaker tracing her roots to Natchitoches Parish with documentary

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Standing on the steps of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Campti, Danielle Romero holds a photo of her great-grandmother, Lola Perot, as a teen. Many of her ancestors are laid to rest in the church’s cemetery.

Juanice Gray
Danielle Romero lives in Nashville, Tenn., but has deep roots in Natchitoches Parish. A filmmaker, she is documenting the search for her great-grandmother, Lola Perot, who passed away before Romero was born. “She left the Natchitoches area of Louisiana in the 1930s and changed her name and race to hide her identity and attempted to pass as white in New York where I was born,” Romero said. Romero said when Perot left Louisiana with her Irish husband, John Donnelly, and moved to New York, she taught her children, including Romero’s grandmother, that they were French and Irish.

This article published in the Aug 25, 2022, print edition.

Romero made her first visit to this area in 2021 to find family and truth. “Where did Lola’s family come from? What was she hiding, and why? It was time to find Lola, and myself. I’ve spent months interviewing elders and cousins and I am excited to share the journey of the complexity of Louisiana heritage—both in the past and today.”
She found many of her ancestors (Pardee, Perot, Conde, Mezieres) buried at the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church cemetery in Campti.

The documentary “Finding Lola” is still in the production process, however Romero is releasing shorts that can be viewed on YouTube at “New York to Natchitoches.”
If you believe you are a descendant of Lola Perot, contact Romero at danielleromero13@gmail.com.