Saturday, September 24, 2011

Hurricane Katrina: Six Years Later, The Big Easy Ambassadors Remember and Celebrate New Orleans Culture

The effects of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans have been long-lasting. There is still alot of the city that has gone unrepaired, pride questioned, faith shook, lives lost and hope taken for granted. People were coerced to make homes in other cities and states and while many families have returned to New Orleans there are some who have remained, transplanting their families and their New Orleans roots. According to the Houston Chronicle, "Six years after Hurricane Katrina there is an estimated 240,000 New Orleans-area residents remaining in Houston." Even with the decision to call Houston home, New Orleans culture is still deeply rooted in the transplanted New Orleanians. Remembering New Orleans pre-Katrina fused with the love of home no matter the condition led to a celebration of culture. The Big Easy Ambassadors presented the 2nd Annual Hurricane Katrina Secondline and Memorial and MsNightLyfe had the sheer pleasure of experiencing first hand just how deep that love for New Orleans runs.

Imagine a Southern family reunion in the depths of Lousiana swamps, including the matriarchs of the family, Uncle Shorty, cousins, aunts, family friends and church folk all gathered together to celebrate, remember, and uplift all in attendance, only you're not in Louisiana, you're in Houston, Texas. On Sunday, August 28, 2011 at the Miller Outdoor Theatre, approximately 1500 people attended the 2nd Annual Hurricane Katrina Memorial and Secondline. The Big Easy Ambassadors delivered everything that they said they would: " eye popping and ear dropping display of music, dance, culture, tradition and fanfare. Harvey Yancy, founder and member of The Big Easy Ambassadors says that the Hurricane Katrina Memorials is  "a true reunion of all sorts, families, friends, neighbors, colleagues, classmates and more! " The excitement and desire for this event has prompted many New Orleans artists to donate a portion of their performance time to us. The show was hosted by Davi Jay from the HBO hit series “Treme”,  and entertainment was provided by Franklin IV the Rockspel, Artist, Dave Lemon and the Flow and The Hustlers Brass Band. The HKM 2011 was funded solely by donations from the New Orleans community in Houston, music lovers, cultural enthusiasts and people in search of a good time. Now all that was center stage. I arrived early enough to enjoy set up and preparations for the big event. I was shown to a green room with a large conference table and the ambience in the room was that of familiarity and love. Around the table was Secondline Shorty, Scooby the Comedienne, a host of volunteers and family members. Each member reflected on different aspects of their lives in New Orleans and identifying the difference between homes. The look of pride and the excitement of progression in their voices makes their love and respect for New Orleans that much greater.

Once it was show time the energy level ascended beyond the stars. The crowd continued to grow, the unity and love for a city that others said would forever be lost, flowed freely, like a continuation of the Huey P. Long bridge threw downtown Houston and stopped right in the heart of Hermann Memorial Park at the Miller Outdoor Theatre. Harvey Yancey began the celebration like a true Southern man, leading us in prayer, inviting God's anointing in. Scooby, Comedienne Extraordinaire, opened the show, with, humorous New Orleans throwbacks reminding the crowd of just how great and influential a New Orleans upbringing could be. Dave Lemon graced the stage and crooned to the ladies like only a New Orleans musical talent can. You know the saying that the "Band Played On", well the Hustlers Brass Band showed up and showed out, bringing everyone in attendance to their feet. The stimulation was heightened with Secondline Shorty and ... secondlining their way into the memories and enduring spirits of  transplanted New Orleanians. If you missed this celebration of culture, you missed a socially inclined treat. I found that the Hurricane Katrina Memorial and Secondline provided a stage for those who miss home, the richness of  the very culture, that has help molded the sustaining people of New Orleans. Check Out SweetToothMedia footage of this grand event and then kick yourself...or just plan to atttend and contribute to the 2012's Hurrican Katrina Memorial and Secondline.

For More Information about the Hurricane Katrina Memorial and Secondline Please visit the following links:


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