One of the highlights of our Civil Rights trip to New Orleans and Montgomery, Alabama last year was meeting Mrs. Leona Tate, one of The McDonogh Three.
Ms. Tate was one of three African-American girls, who, at the age of six, were the first black students to integrate an all-white school in New Orleans!
We met Mrs. Tate at the Lower Ninth Ward Living Museum, where she is a board member continuing the activism and work for her community that she started as a small child.
It was an incredible honor to be welcomed warmly into the home and studio of master beader Big Chief Demond Melancon of the Young Seminole Hunters while in New Orleans this summer. He and his partner Alicia gave us a glimpse into the beautiful traditions and culture of New Orleans.
“With a career spanning almost three decades, Melancon is well-known for his meticulous hand-sewn beadwork used to create massive Mardi Gras Indian suits which are composed of intricately beaded patches depicting actual and imagined events from African and American history. His complex and multidimensional portrayals draw inspiration from indigenous people in America, enslaved Africans, and inspirational leaders from history. His work draws from a broad variety of stylistic influences, features imagery rich with symbolism and meaning, addresses stereotypical representations of black people, and tells powerful stories from his experience of the African diaspora.”
WGRL has a sisterhood with the great city of New Orleans, so we were inspired to learn that Cyndi Nguyen became the first Asian American to earn a seat on the New Orleans City Council!
We caught up with Councilwoman Nguyen on our last trip to New Orleans where she graciously spent some time with our young reporters discussing her journey from Vietnamese immigrant to community leader and some of the things she plans to do to improve her community.
It’s an inspiring story that energizes us to seek even more diversity in the faces of those who represent us.
When in New Orleans, WGRL recommends a trip to the Louisiana Products Deli, a neighborhood institution for more than thirty years!
Run by charming sisters Martha and Melanie, Louisiana Products is part art gallery, part community center and part old sc
hool deli with delicious home cooked NOLA specialities. In this edition of our podcast, Martha explains some of the heart behind this one of a kind store where you can get your groceries with a healthy warm helping of New Orleans culture.
Meschiya Lake was a little girl with a big voice, starting her career at the tender age of nine! WGRL caught up with the sultry voiced New Orleans vocalist who has lived a fascinating life that includes running away with the punk rock circus! From eating glass to her current stint singing jazz with her band The Little Big Horns , we were transfixed by her story and her talent.
Le bon ton roulet in New Orleans! This Spring we had the very special opportunity to visit this world class city of art, culture, food and music. In conjunction with our sister group, the YaYa’s, we had a booth at the legendary Jazz Fest and spent 4 days live painting, experiencing and getting inspired by all this beautiful city had to offer.
WGRL was able to conduct a series of remote interviews with some of the most exciting female musicians in the city, both established and rising stars.
Tank, the dynamic lead singer of Tank and the Bangas and her manager Tavia made their way to us in the middle of a tropical downpour and the hectic schedule of rehearsing for their new tour. We truly appreciate these great inspiring ladies words of wisdom!
AND check out the live painting we did of the beautiful Tank below! 🙂