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By Ashley Jones and Deon Osborne
Born and raised in New Orleans, and known for her bounce music style of hip hop, Big Freedia lit up the stage with a lightning musical performance at Tulsa’s Pride Festival on Friday.
In an interview with The Black Wall Street Times, Big Freedia explained her desire to spread love through music, her shock at the horror of the Tulsa Race Massacre, and her gratitude for the warm welcome she’s received while in Tulsa.
“I’m just grateful to be here and know that change is happening all around the world.”
Supporting young LGBT people
“I bring different walks of life together,” Big Freedia said. “Spreading love and positive energy throughout my show and having a good time” is the motivation behind her music.
Her performance on Friday resonated like electricity to an excited crowd. But while her goal is always to make people have fun, she said nothing’s more important than being an example for young LGBTQ people.
“It’s just important that I have a platform that I use in the right direction to support the young LGBT community,” Big Freedia said. “To let them know there’s someone that supports them. Let them know there’s people out there in their corner.”
From New Orleans to Black Wall Street in Greenwood
She said she understands their struggle because it wasn’t easy for her growing up in New Orleans when she was young.
“I had to fight for who I wanted to be. I had to fight for my rights. Being Black and gay was not something the community really accepted.” But Big Freedia added that “over time people’s mindset opened up. I started to rap and I said I was going to be one of the first queens in New Orleans where guys would come up to me and dap me and not feel threatened. I did that.”
Arriving in Tulsa, Big Freedia made sure to stop by historic Black Wall Street to patronize the businesses.
Learning about the massacre, in which a government-sanctioned white mob bombed and burned down hundreds of businesses on Black Wall Street, sacked thousands of homes and murdered upwards of 300 Black residents of Greenwood in 1921, Big Freedia was mesmerized by the magnitude of what Black people can do.
“I was blown away that we had so many successful Black people that they did not want to see succeed. It’s a rich piece of history and we went down to the street today and went to some of the Black owned shops. Bought a Black Wall Street shirt. I was very excited to be there and just get the people’s history,” Big Freedia said.
What’s next for Big Freedia
When it comes to the community of Tulsa that welcomed her, Big Freedia said she appreciates all the love.
“Tulsa has really rolled out the red carpet and opened their doors for the queen and her crew. And the hospitality has just been amazing and we are grateful to be here and to celebrate pride with you guys.”
Fans eager for more content from Big Freedia can check out her new single, “Betty Bussit“, which dropped this weekend. Big Freedia also has a new song on the Space Jam New Legacy soundtrack, and her album “Big Beaver Energy” drops in July.
Ultimately, Big Freedia said she just wants to put out “that great energy and love to the world and continue to make good music, make people happy and shake their ass on the floor.”