EAST FLATBUSH - With just a week to go until the annual West Indian carnival winds its way along Eastern Parkway, one group is making big plans with the hope of drawing attention to the life of South African icon Nelson Mandela.
The DRJ Vision in Motion group will make its debut at the parade, which draws large crowds each year, with the telling of Mandela's life in four parts: his ancestral roots, his time as a revolutionary figure, his isolation and Mandela's freedom, which saw him become South Africa's first black president.
The group believes there should be much more to the parade than skimpy outfits. To that end, members will present a more toned-down look.
"What message does it really send that it is OK to be in scanty costumes?" asks Dennis Pierre, a member of DRJ Vision in Motion. "Remember, you are going through the neighborhoods and not every parent feels the same way about their children being that way."
"It gives me a burst of energy," adds Donna Bridgeman, the group's band leader and costume designer. "I feel very good about it. Very, very good."
Stick with News 12 Brooklyn for more coverage of the coming festivities. News 12 will have live coverage of the parade starting at 7:30 a.m. on Labor Day.