Friday, September 22, 2006
The Black Men of Labor organize a second line parade each Labor Day
weekend to honor the city's workers, including the many brass band
musicians who work to make New Orleans' culture distinct. Black Men
of Labor formed in 1993 after the death of jazz musician Danny
Barker, and the the Social Club has advanced Barker's mission of
maintaining traditional styles by hiring traditional brass bands to
march in their parade and offering mentorship programs for younger
musicians. Matt Sakakeeny asked co-founders Greg Stafford, a jazz
trumpeter and school teacher, and Fred Johnson, an Outreach
Specialist at the Neighborhood Development Foundation, about parade
music and culture.
The Yes Men turn their brand of activism on New Orleans public housing issues.
Political pranksters the Yes Men perpetrate a special brand of political activism and social commentary; they impersonate representatives of corporate or government groups and literally put words in their mouths. At the recent Gulf Coast rebuilding and Hurricane Preparedness Summit, they posed as representatives from HUD and made some startling announcements. Some thought their prank was a childish waste of time; some thought it brought attention to questions about policy that need to be asked. Click here for a full-length article on their prank, or listen below to Street Talk's coverage of the event.