My Nola, My Story: Super Sunday

Title

My Nola, My Story: Super Sunday

Format

video

Subject

This is a a collection of interviews and video footage of Super Sunday.

Description

Super Sunday is a procession and festival to give the public a chance to witness the Mardi Gras Indians. It is an consisted of incredible craftsmanship, unique music and street rituals. New Orleans natives and tourist share their experience with Super Sunday and why the legacy is important.

Creator

Ariel Shorter, Keziah Smith, Brandon Dixon, Kaleb Macklin, and Darren Metoyer

Source

My Nola My Story via YouTube

Publisher

Xavier Exponential at Xavier University of Louisiana

Date

April 14, 2023

Rights

My Nola, My Story

Relation

My Nola, My Story 2023 Exhibit

Language

English

Type

CapCut, video

Identifier

https://youtu.be/ZSssAPeEMT8

Coverage

A Digital Humanities project by Xavier University of Louisiana's Xavier Exponential department students, led by Dr. Shearon Roberts.

Original Format

Transcription

Mardi Gras Indian 1 - Super Sunday started in 1970, by Jerome Smith. Civil rights activist, Jerome Smith. And it was for commemoration in support of the four girls that were killed in 1964 in the bombing of the church in Atlanta. And his friend was Tootie Montana. So, he had a parade, and he asked his friend Tootie Montana to come with his Indian gang. And it started like that. And then over time it became more and more Indians, and then, it became the Indian parade. It started as a support and protest for those girls; Four girls killed in the bombing. 1970 was the first parade. Jerome Smith. Jerome Smith was one of the guys who sat at the counter at the Woolworths on Canal Street. He's still alive. If you have a chance, you should find Jerome there.

[Music]

Attendee 1 - Right! Then understanding like it's more history then just running to Canada. Running to New York. You know what I'm saying. It's more like what about the hidden, and the fact that they used to do it as a secret because of [inaudible] right but that was cool to me to so all that kind of stuff is like interesting and that's why we out here, yeah.

Keziah Smith - So how did you head about the event?

Attendee 1 - Well we from Chicao. We here to visit and realizing that its more to the city than just the French Quarter. I started investigating, and I found out about this. And I'm like we eating there and that's it. You know.

[Indian chants]

Maine - My name is Maine. Kelly Dynamite. They call me Maine. We love Super Sunday. This is us. This week is Super Sunday in the 3rd Ward. Next week is Super Sunday in the 7th Ward. And the week after that is going to be Super Sunday in the... across the river, Algiers.

Darren Metoyer - How long have you been attending...

Maine - All my life. All my life.

Darren Metoyer - And how old are you?

Maine - I'm 69.

Darren Metoyer - What makes this different from Mardi Gras or any other New Orleans event? What makes it special?

Maine - It's always special. Anything going in New Orleans is special. We thank our Lord for our blessings that we get when we ever do our thing here. We love it.

Kaleb Macklin - So do you have any children or anybody that you would like to pass this event along to or anything like that?

Maine - I just want people to be safe. Come here, enjoy yourself, and be safe. Keep your eye on your surroundings. Everything is dangerous here. But this our thing. This our 3rd Ward. This our 3rd Ward. We representing this three. We representing this three! Make ‘em know that!

Keziah Smith - How has Super Sunday changed over the years?

Maine - Well this don't change that much. It's always the same. Third Ward thing is a third Ward thing, and when its downtown, its a downtown thing. And when it's across the river, it's an across the river thing.

Brandon Dixon - Have you noticed any like forms of assimilation throughout the years with the parades or anything like in your community.

Maine - Like what?

Brandon Dixon - Assimilation. Like white people taking over.

Maine - I ain't gon’ say that. We all. We love each other. We don't care about white folks. White or black, we can all enjoy yourself. Look at that. That’s the Baby Dolls. It’s about enjoying yourself. Nobody got no hate out here.

Brandon Dixon - Nobody got hate out here?

Maine - Nah. Unless it’s some clown that come out here and start dumb s***. Other than that, everything is good.

Uncle Clyde - They call me Uncle Clyde. Those Baby Doll Girls just passed by, all them call me Uncle Clyde. My niece is the queen of the original wild Tchoupitoulas Indians. Her mom was the queen, and she was a Baby Doll Girl. She masked ‘till she was 91 years old. Then, she passed on, and three years later, she passed it to her daughter. Then she called, and she said “Uncle Clyde, I need you”. But when she said Uncle Clyde, they need me. They know that means they're in trouble. And all I say is “where at”. They say “You better tell him. He gone be here 15 minutes.” Which they knew I was. She said, “I'm sorry.” She said, “I'm the queen now, and I had a vision of you being my ambassador.” No other Indian tribe has an ambassador. This about nine years ago. I said, “You got it baby”. I said, “What about the suit?” She said, “No. I want you to dress just like I know my Uncle Clyde. He always dressed sharp. So you come. Whatever color I say, you put it on.” So I said “Yes, I'll do that. Call the color.” Every year, the Indians pick a new suit? That's their song. They pick a new suit or you pick the colors. Our colors this year was royal blue and cream, and this is what you pick so I just throwed this together. Even the shoes.

Brandon Dixon - Does it come from any like inspiration or anything? Does it have any inspiration or inspired from anything?

Uncle Clyde - Feel. The Spirit of Soul.

Brandon Dixon - The Spirit of the Soul?

Uncle Clyde - Yes. You see. You feel things.

Keziah Smith - So, why do you think the tradition of this event is important?

Uncle Clyde - Because everybody didn’t come here on the slave ship. Y’all start digging at that. They got a lot of the Indians were already here. They're dark skinned, light-skinned, all kind of different complexion. They were already here. The Indians up in Natchitoches, up there in North Louisiana, already here thousands of years ago.

Mardi Gras Indian 2 - The celebration of culture. You know. They come out. They tell these stories on they suit. They beat them. They put their work in. You know, it takes about a year just to finish your entire suit.

[Indian chants]

Brandon Dixon - Where does the inspiration come from?

Mardi Gras Indian 2 - Your life. Just your story. It tells your story. It tells who you are as a person; how you became that person you are today.

[Tambourine Playing]

Kaleb Macklin - This question is what is Super Sunday to you? Like what does it mean to you?

Musician 1 - Super Sunday is pretty much… It's a family reunion for us. If you're from this area, from the City of New Orleans period, Super Sunday not only represents the culture in itself, but it represents the Indians. It represents from the Baby Dolls to the Mardi Gras Indians to the second line world. So it's a conglomerate of everything. So it's our annual family reunion. So that's what it represents.

Kaleb Macklin - How long have you been coming?

Musician 1 - Since I was a puppy, so I mean it pretty much since we [inaudible] can pretty much remember. He’s a little bit older. I mean we’re probably all median age. So, I mean we've been coming and playing ever since we can remember. So, like I said, not only it's just from people that you grew up with. It’s people where you started. Chill out.

Kaleb Macklin - So like, so what is one thing that you would tell to a tourist about this event or to your kids or like a future generation?

Musician 1 - Um just uh just have fun so it's a big party. If you look at it got a lot of food vendors. A lot of things that happening historically. There a lot of um, there's a lot of culture things that's happening right now so just be open-minded and have some fun. I mean it's not all about the glitz and glamor. It's all about “man I haven't seen you this year.” I mean you have tubas walking down the street. From tubas to tambourines. From little kids masked as Indians to grandmothers you haven't seen forever. So, it's a little bit of everything man. It's a big gumbo man. We love Uptown. This what we do man. It's our area. It’s our section.

Brandon Dixon - So, the music that y’all play, does it vary every year or is it like the same?

Musician 1 - No, I mean it varies by songs. So I mean like um like you may hear um songs on the radio um that may be played by brass bands. So right now, I mean anywhere from Beyonce to the Beatles has been playing right now with any Brass Band. So it's pretty much on how you feel. We get with the Associate and Pleasure Clubs, and then, you know you know something from the Lady Buck Jumpers, Men Buck Jumpers, do Main Street Game. The list goes on and on. So, just pretty much on how they feel, but we feed off of what they do.

[Band Playing]

Keziah Smith - How does the music keep bringing on the tradition?

Musician 2 - How does the music? Well music, it varies. It varies from bands. Like you hear stuff from the radio. You hear stuff like from like Louis Armstrong. So the music varies in the city of New Orleans.

Keziah Smith - How do we pass on the tradition through music?

Musician 2 - Well I try. What I try to do is try to pass it on to my kids that I teach, and also to the younger generation as well. Because I know I won't be playing this forever So, it's time to bring some new faces in. So… these old faces… I feel like an old head now.

[Mardi Gras Indian marching]

Keziah Smith - Can we get your name?

Eric - Eric.

Keziah Smith - So, how long have you been coming to Super Sunday?

Eric - Since I was about three years old.

Keziah Smith - Okay, who brought you?

Eric - My momma

Keziah Smith - What do you think is the importance of this event?

Eric - It helps out with the culture. It keeps the culture going.

Kaleb Macklin - What’s your favorite part about this event?

Eric - Huh?

Kaleb Macklin - What’s your favorite part about this event?

Eric - Second-Lining.

Kaleb Macklin - I understand that. I understand that.

Brandon Dixon - So, what do you do again?

Eric - Huh?

Brandon Dixon - So, what do you do again?

Eric - I second-line.

Keziah Smith - You second-line?

Eric - Yeah.

Keziah Smith - Can you explain kind of the importance of second-line, and what you do?

Eric - It’s like a culture thing. It’s something you feel in your soul. Not just something that you just pick up. It’s something in your soul. It’s like a tradition. Basically.

Keziah Smith - So, how do you think we keep this going? How do we pass on the tradition?

Eric - What you said?

Keziah Smith - How do you think we keep this going? How do we pass on the tradition?

Eric - Starting them off young. You got to start them off young, and then, when they get older, they gon’ pass it to the new ones that’s coming behind them.

Kaleb Macklin - So, if you have kids, like you would pass it off to them…

Eric - Yeah, of course! Of course!

Kaleb Macklin - That’s what it’s all about.

[Bands playing]

[Indians chanting and marching]

Duration

13:26 (thirteen minutes and twenty-six seconds)

Producer

Ariel Shorter, Keziah Smith, Brandon Dixon, Kaleb Macklin, and Darren Metoyer

Director

Dr. Shearon Roberts

Files

44771EBC-D235-48B9-A9A0-BF065668D249.jpeg
Date Added
April 14, 2023
Item Type
Moving Image
Tags
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Citation
Ariel Shorter, Keziah Smith, Brandon Dixon, Kaleb Macklin, and Darren Metoyer, “My Nola, My Story: Super Sunday,” MY NOLA, MY STORY , accessed July 14, 2024, https://xulamasscomm.omeka.net/items/show/260.