Mayor Cantrell Pays Tribute to the Late Sylvester Francis

Sylvester Francis By Cheryl Gerber Original
Photo provided by the City of New Orleans (Photo by Cheryl Gerber)

NEW ORLEANS — Mayor LaToya Cantrell today issued the following statement on the death of Sylvester Francis, founder of the Backstreet Cultural Museum in Treme, at age 73:

“Our hearts are heavy today with the passing of Sylvester Francis — culture bearer, historian and founder of the Backstreet Cultural Museum. We can thank ‘Hawk’ for maintaining the photographs, the costumes, the films, the memorabilia, and the artifacts of New Orleans street culture, right in the heart of his beloved Treme neighborhood. Our thoughts go out to his family. May he rest in God’s perfect peace.”

The Backstreet Cultural Museum, which opened in 1999, features documentation of everything from Mardi Gras Indians and Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs to Black carnival, jazz funerals and brass band traditions.

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