HISTORY OF BLANC et NOIR with ROBERT TRUDEAU
BY BRANDY EVANS
Robert Trudeau , a retired Caddo Parish teacher and Carnival enthusiast , brought a piece of New Orleans Mardi Gras rituals to Shreveport in 2008 with the start of Blanc et Noir
, a French term meaning black and white .
Trudeau and New Orleans native Jerry Davenport formed the Blanc et Noir Second Line Brass Band as an instrument to create racial harmony . The second line is known for incorporating African dances in their performances , which were introduced to New Orleans by enslaved Africans as part of their burial rituals . The first line was the pallbearers and musicians . The “ second line ” was those who were beckoned to the cemetery procession by the percussions of the band .
“ We wanted the krewe to be the krewe that brought people together from both sides of the city ,” Trudeau mused .
The two men , both Shreveport transplants , bonded over the Faces of Katrina exhibit at Artspace in 2007 . Hurricane Katrina displaced millions of people .
Talbot Trudeau , wife of Robert , designed their black and white logo , which is a nod to the Krewe of Zulu , one of the original Black krewes in New Orleans . Matthew Linn , Krewe of Highland Parade
founder , gave the loosely formed second line group a place to march .
“ The first years , people at the Krewe of Highland looked at us like we were crazy ,” Trudeau explained . “ People came to gradually accept us as a brass band and a bunch of marchers . Today , we are the most photographed krewe because we are the most unusual krewe .”
When Mardi Gras comes roaring back , be sure to yell , “ Throw me something mister !” and you are likely to get a coveted , hand-painted pecan from one of the smiling
faces of Blanc et Noir members .
Blanc et Noir co-founders Jerry Davenport and Robert Trudeau marching in the Krewe of Highland Mardi Gras parade .
PRESS PLAY ON MARDI GRAS !
2021 KREWE OF HIGHLAND
YARDI GRAS CELEBRATION
Krewe of Highland members and residents are decorating their homes with festive Mardi Gras decorations . Visitors may drive by to enjoy the spirit of Mardi Gras at a safe distance . Learn more here .