Mother's Day second line honors the late Deborah Cotton

Mother's Day second line honors the late Deborah Cotton

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Families around New Orleans gathered this Mother's Day in backyards and at restaurants to pay tribute to mom.

But in the Seventh Ward, there was a tribute like no other, in honor of a woman who recently died after a mass Mother's day shooting four years ago.

Hundreds of people crowded St Bernard Avenue for the 'Original Big 7' second line, in honor of mom's everywhere.

Sunday's second line is the 21st edition of the Big 7's Mother's Day event. It goes off without a hitch, but four years ago, there was tragedy on the route.

"It wasn't about the second line, it was foolishness outside," said club member Deneen Jackson.

Four sibling gang members opened fire as the second line rolled down Aubrey St., striking 20 people. Among them was Deborah Cotton, a cultural historian, and today's second line is in her honor.

Cotton died two weeks ago, from persistent complications from the shooting.

"She was a wonderful person very kind, and a big supporter of the second line," said musician James Andrews.

Cotton, had multiple surgeries after the shooting, lost a kidney, and two thirds of her stomach, but she never lost her love of second lines, and was an active participant.

"She was a beautiful lady, I never seen her one time, without a smile on her face," said second line king Allen January.

After the shooting, some questioned whether second lines should continue.

But the tradition continues with increased police presence.

"Absolutely and I think police are doing a wonderful job," said Andrews.

Andrews brings New Orleans music around the world, but always returns to enjoy the culture he loves.

"They wanted me to stay in Monte Carlo but I had to come back home," he said.

And though he lost a good friend, he believes it's a culture that's worth preserving.

"Would be a disaster to stop the New Orleans culture, because this culture is known world wide," said Andrews.

The culture lives on this Mother's Day, but without one of it's biggest supporters.

Akein Scott got a life sentence for his role in the 2013 Mother's Day shooting. His brother Shawn got 40 years.

Travis Scott, dubbed the gang  leader also received a life sentence for various crimes including gun violence unrelated to the Mother's Day shooting.

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