Lil' Brooklyn Neighborhood held its fourth annual community celebration

Posted at 10:07 PM, Jul 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-24 01:07:28-04

The Lil' Brooklyn Neighborhood Initiative in New Iberia held their fourth annual community celebration tonight.

Volunteers from Buckingham Road Church of Christ in Texas offered a helping hand this week, they say, by painting two houses in the neighborhood.

Now, the Lil' Brooklyn neighborhood has a total of 15 houses painted.

"Everybody in this community matters, and we want people to be known, seen, be verbal, and to have a voice. We going to work hard together and we're going to celebrate together. That's what this is about," said one event attendee.

Homeowners and volunteers enjoyed food and live music at the Steamboat Warehouse.

The project was started by a retired graphics designer, Anne Darrah, who wanted to help beautify a small section of New Iberia in hopes to attract more people to the historic Spanish city.

Lil' Brooklyn neighborhood is the oldest African American residential neighborhood in New Iberia, they tell KATC.

There was a scattering of houses in the area as early as the late 1890's but it did not become a neighborhood until the early 1920's, they say.

It was originally called "Freetown" but later was given the nickname "Lil' Brooklyn" which stuck.

This initiative began with the goal of painting distressed houses in a coordinated palette of Caribbean colors, in honor of the enslaved people from Santa Domingo (Haiti) who lived on the Duperier plantation, they say.

If the public would like to be a part of the Lil' Brooklyn Neighborhood Initiative, they can volunteer through Lil' Brooklyn's Facebook page.

Paint for the houses, they say, were provided by Latter and Blum (Great Pumpkin fund) and a grant from Benjamin Moore (Bayou Paints).

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