Dancing Man 504
My name is Big Chief Gerald Paige of the Great Spirit Warriors Indian tribe and youth empowerment organization. I have a big problem with giving Darryl “Dancing Man 504” Young the credit and acknowledging him as someone who forefronts the second line culture. As a former member of several Social Aid and Pleasure clubs and benevolent societies also known as second line clubs, it’s a slap in the face. This guy is not even from New Orleans, has never been a part of a second line club or even been seen at a real second line. He is a culture vulture. After reading the article it proves he doesn’t know New Orleans culture or the history of the culture.
In the article he called the type of dancing we do to bounce music “twerking.” That is not correct. It’s called “P-popping.” Twerking was created by Miley Cyrus and white America. It was several other idiotic and incorrect statements he made. For example: second line was about showing off, and that the old guys dancing at the second line were just drunk. To give you a brief history lesson on the correct origin of second line culture, it is a celebration of life. Its origin is West African and second line clubs were benevolent societies that helped take care of the community. So for future references I suggest you come in the real communities where the culture really exist instead of going in the French Quarter and on Frenchmen were people of color couldn’t hang out originally, but they have been stealing our culture and making millions off it. Come to the real sources and participants, for the truth.
—Chief Gerald Paige of the Great Spirit Warriors, New Orleans, Louisiana
Just because Dancing Man 504 didn’t grow up as a member of a second line club doesn’t mean he can’t embody many of its values, virtues and practices, including community-building and working with kids. Also, twerking was not invented by Miley Cyrus and white America—just ask bounce queen Cheeky Blakk (who released “Twerk Something” in 1994).
As to the underlying issue of white America ripping off, co-opting, and making money off of black culture—there’s no debate there, but that has little to do with whether Dancing Man 504 has earned the right to grace our March 2018 cover as a performer.—Ed.
You’re not the first to use the term “Subourbon Street.” For over ten years, that has been the name of our jazz band in Burlington, Ontario, Canada! Glad to see it’s getting some use in New Orleans!
—Lynn Snider, Burlington, Canada
Lee Circle is still Lee Circle. The future of that space is another can of worms.
I think the best place for a great monument to Fats would be adjacent to the corner of St. Claude and Caffin Avenues where the Fats Domino Museum is being created in Fats’ old home.
—JR Seyler, New Orleans, Louisiana
300 Songs for 300 Years
As someone who loves music and who lived in New Orleans for 40 years (1966 until Katrina), I can’t tell you how much I am enjoying Jeff Hannusch’s [and your other writers’] incredible labor of love in documenting the history of 300 songs from New Orleans’ past. Wow! Having read Mr. Hannusch’s books I Hear You Knockin’ and The Soul of New Orleans many years ago, you have picked the perfect person for this documentation. I can only hope and dream that Jeff will somehow when it’s all done collect all of these mini-treasures together in another published book. I’d be the first in (second) line!
—Doug Egan, Golden, Colorado
Our feature “Fire in the Hole” (March 2018) regarding the book published by the University of New Orleans Press containing the photographs of Jeffrey David Ehrenreich incorrectly reflects his name as David Ehrenreich. We also failed to reflect Ehrenreich as the photographer for the photo published. We regret the error.—Ed.
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