NEW ORLEANS -- A year ago gunfire erupted during the Original Big 7 Social Aid and Pleasure Club Mother’s Day Parade, injuring 19 people, including two 10-year-olds.
But Sunday the community marched forward, returning to the same spot with a massive celebration.
“It actually felt quite liberating,” said Samuel Davenport, who attended the second line. “When was the last time you danced in the rain?”
The joyous celebration of the annual Mother's Day Parade was simply contagious, and it was clear that last year's shooting was the last thing on anyone's mind.
“The whole purpose of second lining is to show no fear,” Davenport said. “We are resilient and we don’t care. No matter what, we will second line through whatever.”
And for those who lived through the shooting, they say the parade was about looking forward and taking a stand against violence.
“You have to take your own street back,” said Lene Tolvier, who lives on Frenchmen Street and was at last year’s shooting.
“This is something we have to keep going on for the tradition,” said Clovis Batiste of the Crescent City Peddlers of the Lower 9th Ward.
And that's exactly what this 7th Ward neighborhood did
Like the other 18 victims of last year's shooting, 10-year-old Kenard Allen wear the scars, but you would never know it.
“He loves second lines,” said Sonny Lee of the Son of a Saint program. “He tries to go to as many as possible. He loves music.”
Kenard is no stranger to violence. He was shot once before and it's what took his father away,
But since the shooting Lee, the founder of Son of a Saint, has taken Kenard under his wing.
And now he is not just surviving. He is thriving.
“He is always about helping others because he understands that he has been helped.”
And like Kenard, the community let its residence shine bright as it marched for a future free of violence.