Northside Skull & Bones Gang wakes up NOLA for Mardi Gras

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NEW ORLEANS -- February is Black History Month, a month-long celebration remembering the important contributions that African Americans have made in our nation's history.

In honor of Black History Month, News with a Twist is featuring the people and places of New Orleans and beyond that helped to shape our community.

Today we salute the Northside Skull & Bones Gang.

Musician and gang leader Bruce "Sunpie" Barnes told us, "We are the original skull and bones gang from New Orleans, starting in the Treme neighborhood in 1819.  We wake up the city at 5:30 in the morning to bring our family spirits back from the cemetery.  All of ancient African spirits and invite them to take a walk with us."

Barnes continued, "We go door-to-door singing and having a good time, but we also bring serious social messages to people.  All those things that will contribute to your ultimate demise, we denounce that.  We are the literal meaning of carnival- the shedding of the flesh."

The Northside Skull & Bones Gang leaves the  Backstreet Cultural Museum at 1116 Henriette Delille St. before dawn on Mardi Gras morning.

Our Black History Month series is brought to you by The King Firm.