I’ve just finished watching the third episode of the series, Treme. I don’t have HBO but, thanks to my brother, The Oracle, I receive a link to watch it…and I look for my link faithfully every Monday.
As much as I love the series, it is proving itself to be a little difficult for me to watch at times. I’m sure a lot of New Orleanians feel the same way. A lot of the scenes being played out in front of us, I had only just begun to put away…like walking into my flood damaged home for the very first time. That was a hard scene to watch for a lot of people I know.
I’m grateful to David Simon and David Mills because, they are telling our story…the one CNN didn’t bring to you.
How those of us who decided to stay or come back right after the storm, survived those days.
They were not easy days but, it was our choice and one that I would do again.
I love my city… I’m IN love with her…faults in all.
So, I’m in this for the long haul even if I have to carry a shrink with me every step of the way.
The last episode brought me to tears. When Big Chief went to the lower 9 and found his friend under the boat. It just hit too close to my heart.
When we first arrived home in Oct ’05, the word was already out among the few of us who had returned…brace yourself before you go into the lower 9. It was a warning done out of love between natives…those of us who REALLY knew the lower 9.
Like Treme, that area of the city is a deep part of black culture and we all knew to expect the worst because of what we had seen on tv.
TV didn’t even hit the tip of the iceberg about what had happened there.
I had gone all through this city, witnessed miles of devastation from Mississippi all the way in to it. Had walked the halls of my own destroyed home and while my heart was aching beyond belief…had not shed a tear.
The day I rode into the lower nine…I cried.
I have yet to find the word for what I saw so, I don’t even try to anymore because what happened to that area is beyond words. I’ll just say that,
Treme is giving folks all over the world a small glimpse of a very large picture and for that…we are grateful.
Our culture is ringing true…for the very first time…on this series.
What I really love is that, it takes people deep into the culture. Beyond the Mardi Gras madness in the French Quarters, beyond the local cuisine and the wonderful music.
Treme takes you to the streets…where the second lines and the Mardi Gras Indians roam.
Big Chief Lambreaux, played brilliantly by Clarke Peters is the heart beat of the series to me. It’s the heartbeat because, the Mardi Gras Indians are at the very core of New Orleans culture. When you are at the level of even knowing about our beloved Indians, one of two things are going on. You are a native (or transplant), or… you have a love for this city so deep that, it has taken you off of the tourist road…beyond the food, the parades, the French Quarters and stuff and has put you in the trenches.
Where the Indians reside.
Some cities have a certain “je ne sais quoi”…that IT factor that makes it stand out just a little bit more than other cities. New York, Chicago, Philly and some others that I didn’t name have IT.
We have IT.
Our culture is rich and it’s deep and it’s unique…we don’t apologize for it.
We won’t apologize for it.
And we won’t change it.
Because, there are a lot of folks like me…who are in love with her…faults and all.