Everyone on the planet is familiar with the Crescent City for all of the obvious reasons – Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, the food (yes the food is an event unto itself) and of course our beloved ESSENCE Festival. However, unbeknownst to many, there is so much more to New Orleans than what you think you know about the city.
Last month I had the pleasure of taking a trip to Martha’s Vineyard to be exposed to a side of New Orleans that I was unaware existed. Now, you may be thinking “how is it possible to experience New Orleans in Martha’s Vineyard,” there is a point, I promise. Over the 2-day affair, the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC) brought the city to life via customized moments, information sessions, shared a “Green Book” welcome guide produced and published by the New Orleans Tribune for the Black tourists coming to NOLA…” and hosted a surprise meeting with Hollywood and Charley of the critically acclaimed Queen Sugar – yes THAT Queen Sugar. What we know for sure is that New Orleans is more than just a party, it’s a cultural hub, a budding economic center for entrepreneurs and tech start-ups and an educational epicenter on the brink of greatness. If you’ve ever considered relocating to NOLA we strongly advise you keep reading.
New Orleans is considered one of the crown jewels in African American history. Serving as a prime destination during the horrific acts of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and also as the backdrop for a slew of indigenous free blacks pos slavery, including Black Indians, our roots run deep and there is much to learn and see about our history throughout the mystical city. Head to Congo Square for the music and unspoken connection to our ancestors – the energy is something you will certainly feel all over. Learn about the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indians with a NOMGI Sip & Sew Experience, or just eat, eat to your heart’s content; with over 62 Black-owned restaurants there is nothing you should NOT have tried.
Dawn continues, “there’s a Black pride in New Orleans that’s not just about what we have achieved, but what we have gone through. It roots you down into this is who we are mind-frame that ultimately has a feeling of life – we will survive, we will make it through all of it.” There is undoubtedly more to the story, and I’ll leave the rest up to you to explore and figure it out.