“Moving forward, we just need our heritage to live on,” Kylie Malveaux, seventeen, expresses in our feature article “In Good Hands”. “And if not the youth, then who? We have no one else to bring it forward.”
Malveaux, who serves as the Vice Chair of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana’s Seventh Generation Youth Council, represents Louisiana’s next generation of cultural warriors, individuals dedicated to staying true to their heritage and fighting for its survival into the future.
Our region is such a vast tapestry of culture, the result of countless peoples who have made the Gulf Coast region their home—the explorers, the conquerors, the pioneers, the refugees, the enslaved. Malveaux’s ancestors have been here longer than all of them, and have had to fight harder than most to preserve their way of life.
This year’s Embrace Your Place issue is centered on the culture bearers, the individuals who have made it their life’s work to rage against total assimilation, to hold onto the histories and the traditions and the languages of their ancestors. As Louisiana French musician Jourdan Thibodeaux pleads in the title track of his new album La Priere, “Tu vis ta culture, out tu tues ta culture, il y a pas de milieu.”
“You live your culture, or you kill your culture. There is no middle ground.”