This morning we woke up to beautiful weather on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We ate some breakfast, packed some lunches, and headed over to Congo Square in the 6th ward, a district known as Faubourg Treme. When we got to Congo Square a man rode up on his wheelchair and stated that, ‘after seeing all the beauty here I want to recite a poem’. He then improvised such a beautiful poem that it moved many of us to tears. The first part of his poem was, “This place is because of love and because of strength, and I’m not lookin’ at the color of your skin, I’m lookin’ at the heart that makes me win”.
From there we turned the corner and immediately saw a huge gathering of people and heard Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Love of All” echoing through the air. We then realized the song was coming from a tiny 8-year-old girl and she was amazing.
The group then drifted over to the back of the park where dozens of school groups were preparing for their parade. Several bands, cheer teams, dance crews, and some political groups marched through the 6th ward, 7th ward, and Mid-City until we arrived at the Superdome.
Once at the Superdome we heard several inspirational speakers. Mia-X was a woman who was born and raised in New Orleans. She spoke about the struggles she endured as a young woman and how education was the most important thing to achieve. Rev. David Abernathy III, a man who intimately knew Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and was arrested at age 7 for participating in a Civil Rights march, spoke about the progress from Civil Rights to having a Black president. Ahn “Joseph” Cao, the first Vietnamese Congressman in America and New Orleans’s Congressman spoke about diversity and the change that will be coming to the younger generation.
After a long emotional day, we were ready for some fun! After some nap and chill time, we left for a music club called Tipitina's to hear some jazz music. The bands were varied and showed many different styles. The first band played rock, folk, and jazz while the main artists, Glen David Andrews and his band, played more jazz and gospel music.
The event was very fun and entertaining. At the end of the night we quickly fell asleep, looking forward to the festivities in the morning.