Kevin Allman of the Gambit reports that Deborah Cotton aka Big Red Cotton, a correspondent who covers second lines and Mardi Gras Indians culture, is one of 19 victims of yesterday's shooting, which took place at a Mother's Day second line organized by Original Big 7 Social Aid and Pleasure Club as over 300 people approached the corner of Frenchman and N. Villere streets around 2 p.m. Per the Gambit:
Cotton was hit directly by gunfire and taken to intensive care for surgery. She is in guarded but stable condition.
Cotton is also the author of Notes From New Orleans: Spicy, colorful tales of Politics, People, Food, Drink, Men, Music and Life in Post-breaches New Orleans, and she's the founder/editor of New Orleans Good Good, a snazzy new food/culture website that Eater reported on just last week.
The Gambit has posted a video interview they filmed last year with Cotton, in which she discusses the vicious cycle of endemic violence in New Orleans. "I'm constantly watching people suffer," she says, "Either being killed, or someone that they know very closely, a family member or loved on, being killed. I've lost count. I've been here six years... That's unnatural. It can be addressed. We are just not rising to the occasion."
Originally from Los Angeles, she moved to New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina and evacuated to Houston. She now writes, videotapes and covers mainly African-American music/street culture in New Orleans. The Gambit is currently planning a benefit.