Monday, April 15, 2024

Music is a Part of New Orleans.

June 21, 2022 by  
Filed under Education, Ent., Music, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( I’d never want to be from anywhere other than New Orleans, LA. I’ve had the opportunity to visit a few places and I truly enjoyed my visit…then I found myself ready to go back home. Every city has their issue to face, New Orleans is no different, but it’s our issues and it’s my home. The culture of my city isn’t something I know outside of myself…it’s something that resides within me. Yes, hurricanes threaten us every year, and I’ve been asked why it is I haven’t packed up permanently. I usually respond by asking the same question and simply plugging in the natural disaster that person faces, and at that point they clearly understand. I’m from a place with deep roots, rich culture, and where many things can be deemed as religion such as food and music. New Orleans has more festivals than any city in the country. Tourists love to come visit to get their fix of the culture, the food, and the sound. Some love their encounter so much that decided they need to move to the city. To be honest, that might be a very big mistake…a mistake that natives from New Orleans must pay for.

As we speak there is a Noise Ordinance battle waging in New Orleans. That might be very difficult to understand, but it’s what happens when gentrification tries to take home. It’s what happens when too many people move to a place, they visited for a fix but didn’t realize the fix wasn’t seasonal…it’s life. Food will always be available all over this city, as will the unique drinks. New Orleans isn’t a city you come to for bland food, and it’s not a place you move to for “peace and quiet”. In our city its “peace and music”. Brass bands can break out playing at any time. Kids might be practicing their instruments outside.


As schools prepare for parade seasons the neighborhoods get a free show as the marching bands practice through the neighborhoods around the schools. This is our city. Music flows nonstop.  This isn’t something that you will only see for Mardi Grass, Jazz Fest, Essence, and the Bayou Classic. This is our culture, and way of life. It is understandable that there are people that require quiet for peace and relaxation. They like their festival seasons and don’t expect all the fuss on a regular basis. I respect the feeling, and there is a simple fix.

You might be thinking that a stronger enforced Noise Ordinance is the simple fit. No, don’t move to New Orleans is the simple fix. Leaving New Orleans is another available option. The problem is this, the culture should not have to change because someone decided they are more important. There are quieter places in the metropolitan area…move there. There comes a point whereby we must stop asking Black people to adjust their culture and spirit for the comfort of others. It is not fair, and we do not receive the same accommodations when we move to areas dominated by other cultures.

New Orleans is not the city you moved from with a bit of extra fun. It is its own space with a unique culture and Spirit…if it changed in this aspect, it would no longer be New Orleans and that is simply unacceptable. I hope the current Mayor and administration understand the citizens will fight for the Spirit of our City. Just as they had no business trying to put City Hall in Congo Square…they have no business trying to silence the Spirit of our city. Yes, that’s what music, food, dance, language and so much more it…its culture, it’s the Spirit of New Orleans. This culture has been held together by us since the beginning…even when no one wanted to credit our people. Its pretty obvious that the Spirits of our Ancestors are in the ground of this city. The horns, percussion, second lines, and local live music are a part of our way of life. We don’t need an ordinance…we need to be respected.

Staff Writer; Chelle’ St James

May also connect with this sister via Twitter; ChelleStJames.

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