With its traditional jazz funerals, second lines and Black Masking Mardi Gras Indian ceremonies, New Orleans is a city that knows how to pay tribute to its dead. Cultural societies incorporate tributes to their members who have passed away into their Carnival season parades, but as the pandemic stretched into Mardi Gras 2021, clubs have had to confront the fact that some of those tributes may not happen until 2022.
At its last meeting in 2020, New Orleans City Council passed the C.R.O.W.N. Act Ordinance, which prohibits race-based hair discrimination. “Black women are not a monolith, but our hair and the experiences, the prejudice that we experience, is a unified issue, regardless of age, demographics, geography [and] socioeconomic status.”
In 2016, Black women received 61 percent of all abortions provided in Louisiana. While Black advocates on both sides of the abortion debate say they consider systemic racism and the deep-rooted socio-economic differences that may lead Black women to choose abortion more than white women, they approached these societal problems in fundamentally different ways.
When Baton Rouge activist Gary Chambers Jr. posted a cell phone video on his Facebook page of a police officer kneeling on what appeared to be a Black teenager’s neck, Louisiana’s state capital braced for the worst.