New Orleans Jazz Funeral

A part of the Corrections Documentary Project

New Orleans Jazz Funeral is an eighteen minute video depicting a grassroots political protest in New Orleans, on September 8th, 2001. Orchestrated primarily by parents whose children are imprisoned in Louisiana’s notorious youth prisons, the video presents an example of protest that steps outside the vocabularies and habits of typical protest.

Here, parents appalled by the constant abuse of their children decide to register their protest through a cultural form of celebration and mourning which has itself endured dislocation from African roots and centuries of repression.

A community sings and dances its way to City Hall behind a marching band, setting off a spark which would later become a four year campaign to close the state’s most notorious youth prison: the Tallulah Correctional Facility. (This is the first of two videos dealing with this campaign, followed by Close Tallulah Now!)

Special thanks to: Avis Brock, Laura Jones, Mary Matthews, Friends & Families of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children, The Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana

2002 / 18 minutes