By Oba Lorrius
A New Orleans Sunday second line feels like a procession to Heaven, rooted in American Aboriginal Cultural traditions. Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs march through New Orleans, backed by electric brass bands, percussive street orchestras, footwork for a lifetime, and all the heritage one heart can handle.
New Orleans is the only city in North America where the natives religiously take back the streets in a liberating demonstration that unites the people through music, dance, creativity, and countless centuries of indigenous culture. All traffic comes to a halt in awe as the brilliant colors and jubilee fill the southern air. Some lifetime second-lining natives are convinced that the week doesn’t feel complete or hasn’t come to a start without a second line.
For over 50 proud years, Data News Weekly has served New Orleans providing news straight from the source, dedicated to representing the voices of our people in our times. Highlighting the achievements of leading heritage keepers in a city that is known worldwide for culture is no easy task. BlackMasking.org is a cultural education entity focused on preserving New Orleans’ culture. From the history of the Black Masking Indian tribes prior to colonization, to the present-day multilayered gumbo culture, we have taken on the mission of illustrating our past so the future generations have a clear and mighty image to identify with.
BlackMasking.org keeps the pulse on the thriving legacy of the American Aboriginal; our copper-colored ancestors who built the Western Empire, found here by the Europeans. Together Data News Weekly and BlackMasking.org cast a wide cultural net and the weekly catch is the evidence of the daily sacrifices of our culture keepers. In a city with shifting demographics, where the outsiders who see the value in our lifestyle, place a dollar value on it and essentially price out the natives, Data News Weekly has consistently provided a free weekly paper. With an unbiased platform to tell our own story, we are not at the mercy of an oppressive perspective or opinion. Data News Weekly and BlackMasking.org leverage the power of the press and multimedia technologies to remind our tribes near and far that we have been here, we have been great, and that it is our responsibility to sustain this legacy of being cultural ambassadors to the world.
Stay tuned to Old School 102.9, bookmark blackmasking.org and pick up your latest issue of Data News Weekly for a closer look at Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, Second Line culture, and Black Masking Indians from the forefront.