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Brandan Odums featured in Huffington Post – Urban Orleans

(Huffington Post) – For the past four years, Brandan “BMike” Odums has been transforming blighted spaces in New Orleans’ poor neighborhoods through powerful art.

Odums spray-paints larger-than-life murals of African-American icons like Malcolm X, Harriet Tubman and Martin Luther King Jr. at abandoned sites, some of which have been falling apart since Hurricane Katrina.

The New Orleans native aims to criticize how the city neglected under-resourced neighborhoods after the 2005 natural disaster ― but also wants to celebrate the residents of these mostly-black neighborhoods and the pride and beauty of their communities.

“Think about the spaces, they were in black, poor communities,” Odums told HuffPost. “[The art is] just to feel like you matter and you have value, so people can see themselves reflected in this portrait of Mohammed Ali or Maya Angelou.”

 

“Seeing a 12-foot painting of a person of color, it immediately asks a question of why it’s this large: It must be valuable,” he added.

Read the full story here.

 

 

Source: Brandan Odums featured in Huffington Post – Urban Orleans

Native of New Orleans, who endured 20yrs cruel Minnesota Cold, I decided at 42yrs old it was time to pack up my then 6yr old and come back to my roots. I am all things that would challenge the belief of growing up in New Orleans. I was a 16yr old teen mother of a preterm 2lb baby girl born with a disability. With the help of my mother who had her own struggles. We survived the obstacles laid before us. I'm the proud mother of three children with two failed adoptions, as well as a grandmother of three, two grandsons and a granddaughter. I survived two abusive marriages. I successfully ran a soulfood restaurant and catering company in Minnesota for 12 years. I started creating custom cakes after the murder of my beloved cousin Melvin Paul.  He survived Katrina only to go to Minneapolis six months later to be murdered over a parking spot dispute.  I put my all into my cake business over the years as House of Cakes was started right out of my house in honor of him. I thought by having the big house on the hill, a husband, having a family, foster/adoptive mother at that, being involved in all things that matter, plus having the funds to match would cure me in a sense; but most of it poisoned my heart and soul. I had a broken heart and I felt deep down the only way to repair it was to get back to my roots, my soul, my home,  myself, my New Orleans. I'm here and I'm loving it. Even being in the so called Blighted Area of New Orleans and not having all the financial and material security, I'm happy. I am determined that She, yes New Orleans is a woman is just like me; together we will overcome and will rise from all that tried to kill our spirit. Nothing like starting from the bottom and making your way back up! I'm down in the boot, but I know I have a nice floppy hat awaiting my destiny...

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