Black Suit: Sewing [HER]story

Black Suit

“Queen Tahj” Williams, 22, has been a part of the Black Masking Indian culture in New Orleans since she was a young girl. Now after opportunity calls for her to leave the Crescent City, “The Young Queen” must now consider her future. In 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic decimates communities across the globe, Black Masking Indians continue sewing their hand crafted suits. Some suits can take up to a full calendar year of intense focus and painstaking labor to complete.

After more than 300 days of work on what is potentially her final suit, Queen Tahj is ready to dazzle onlookers once again with her new “Black Suit” inspired by the legacy of African Queens. But less than two months before Mardi Gras, city officials cancel all parades for the season. For the first time in the centuries old tradition of Carnival in Louisiana, Black Masking Indians won’t be seen on the streets of New Orleans. But some still sew…