Krewe of Mer celebrates ‘Mardi Gras in Color’

Published 11:00 am Sunday, February 12, 2023

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After three years, the Krewe of Mer has returned to celebrating Fat Tuesday.  The theme of this year’s grand ball is “Mardi Gras in Color,” where krewe members will pay tribute to New Orleans’ African American Mardi Gras Culture. The African American community has played an intrinsic role in creating the cultural foundation of New Orleans and Mardi Gras’ history.  The 2023 Royal Court will feature:

King Marcus Sullivan

Marcus is a Natchez native and a graduate of Natchez High School and Hinds Community College. He is employed as a Vice President, Banking Center Manager with Home Bank in Natchez.

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He is married to Tangela Sullivan, and together they have two daughters, Jermia Requel and Markia Synclair. They also have a grandson, Rhylen Jayce, and two godsons Kobyn and Cayden.

Marcus is a member of The Krewe of Mer, a board member of the Natchez Adams County Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Natchez-Trace Kiwanis Club, and a 2008 graduate of Leadership Natchez. As an advocate of Childhood Cancer Awareness, Marcus and his wife organize and work to sponsor toy drives to benefit Mississippi’s only children’s hospital, Children’s of Mississippi. Marcus’ hobbies and interests include exercising, traveling, rooting for his San Francisco 49ers (“Faithful to the Bay”), and spending time with family and friends.  His mottos are, “Be kind, you never know the battles others are facing; “Be the change you wish to see in the world”; and “Live each day as if it’s your last.”.

Queen Tangela Sullivan

Tangela is a Natchez native and a graduate of Natchez High School. She also graduated from Copiah-Lincoln Community College and Alcorn State University where she received a Bachelor’s degree in social work. She is employed as a Manager, Development Proposal with CoreCivic in Brentwood, Tennessee.

She is married to Marcus Sullivan, and together they have two daughters, Jermia Requel and Markia Synclair. They also have a grandson, Rhylen Jayce, and two godsons Kobyn and Cayden.

Tangela is a member of Greater New Zion Baptist Church where she is a member of the church choir. She is also a member of The Krewe of Mer where she currently serves as Treasurer, a board member of Habitat for Humanity, a member of The Order of Eastern Star Deborah Chapter # 5, and a 2013 graduate of Leadership Natchez. As an advocate of Childhood Cancer Awareness, Tangela and her husband organize and work to sponsor toy drives to benefit Mississippi’s only children’s hospital, Blair E. Batson. Tangela’s hobbies and interests include shopping, traveling, cheering for her New Orleans Saints (“WHO DAT”), and spending time with family and friends. Her motto is “Be grateful for each day of life you have been given and with a humble heart, cherish each moment.”

Captain Nicole A. Bell

Duchess Nicole A. Bell is the Director of Business Operations and the owner of The Food Safety Lady, LLC and Bell Consulting.  She has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Master of Science in Agriculture from Alcorn State University. She also has a Master of Science in Food Safety from Michigan State University.

Nicole is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, where she serves as Zeta Delta Omega Chapter’s 2nd Vice President and works with various committees. Nicole is also a member of the Mississippi Metro Chapter of Blacks in Government (BIG). She has been a member of the Krewe for 20 years and was the Queen of the Night as Mer goes to Hollywood in 2006.

She is the daughter of Roy Bell and the late Minnie Granger Bell, sister of Frances and Darnella, and aunt of Faith, Hope, and Denver. Nicole enjoys spending time with her beautiful nieces and handsome godson, Josiah. Her philosophy of life is “Aspire to Inspire Before You Expire.”

Duke Charles Edward Cothern, Sr.

Charles is a 1975 graduate of East St. Louis Senior High School in East St. Louis, Illinois. He is Married to Patrice Davis Cothern and has one son, Charles Cothern (Sharron), one granddaughter, Shaniya, and two grandsons, Charles III and Channing.

Charles received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education in 1980, from Alcorn State University. He received a Master’s Degree in Education from Alcorn State University, in 1982. Charles continued his studies at Delta State University and the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

Charles is a retired teacher and coach, who has worked in various schools in the Miss-Lou area.  He is currently employed as a part-time teacher in the Natchez Adams School District.  Charles serves as a deacon at Lagrange Baptist Church in Natchez, MS. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Charles has been an avid supporter of the youth of Miss- Lou. He serves as a volunteer coach for the Special Olympics, Area 7. Charles recently served as a coach for the Special Olympics National Delegation at the National Games held in Orlando Florida, in June 2022. He is also a Basketball Official with MAIS.  His motto is “Be a Rainbow in Someone Else’s Cloud.”

Duchess Neashion M. Davis

Neashion M. Davis is a resident of Natchez, and a native of Roxie.  Neashion is married to Anthony Davis, and together they have four children:  Gabriel Malik, Trianthonee, Deja, and TaMaya. They also have three grandchildren: Devion, KaMuara, and Sevion.  Neashion has four godchildren: Akira, DeKarion, Mason, and Finley.  She is the older of two daughters of Sherry L. Fells and Eddie C. Smith.

Neashion is a 1996 graduate of Franklin High School and attended Hinds Community College in Raymond. She is a 2000 graduate of Alcorn State University where she received a Bachelors of Science degree in Business Administration/Management after which she received her Master’s degree in Secondary Education/ Guidance Counseling in 2002. She is employed by the Concordia Parish School District at Vidalia High School.

She is an active member of Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church, which she teaches Sunday school, and is the Director of the Performing Arts Ministry. Neashion is a member of the Natchez Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and is a member of the Order of Eastern.  Neashion has been a loyal member of the Krewe of Mer for 18 years.  She reigned as the Krewe’s 2014 Queen with her husband Anthony Davis as King.

Neashion’s past times include shopping, traveling, tailgating on the Reservation, but most of all spending time with family and friends. She often reminds herself of Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” At this point in life, Neashion will tell you “When you know your why, your What has more impact: Trust the Vibes you get – Energy does not Lie!”

Duchess Jacqueline M. Jackson

Jacqueline Marie Jackson is the daughter of Ms. Willie Mae Jackson of Natchez.  She is the mother of Jermyn (Ashley), Lillie, India, and Clarencia.  She is also the godmother of Irene and lots of grandbabies Her best friend is Newanna Daniels (if anyone has a friend like this one you are so very fortunate because they are rare).

Jacqueline is self-employed with a business in Vidalia, Louisiana.  Her business is The Smoke Staxx where her motto is “Don’t Worry be Happy. The Smoke Staxx has lots of happy items to keep you moving, laughing, and looking at the refrigerator when you know you are not hungry.

Jacqueline was the Queen of Mer in 2004.  She is also a Past Grand Daughter Ruler of Lizzie Shumaker No. 1052, on the national level, and Wharlest Jackson Elks Lodge of Natchez MS.  Jacqueline loves when she and her sister Katrina (Tree) get together and double team their mother.   She loves to keep her laughing, and she does laugh a lot.

Duchess Patricia Sudduth

Patricia is a teacher employed with the Natchez-Adams School District.   She is the founder of “Legacy Creation.” She has a son, Richard J. Blanton, and a daughter, Alicia S. Blanton.  Patricia also has 6 grandchildren.

Patricia is a member of Full Gospel Baptist Church.  Her educational background includes Associate degrees in Marketing, Private Security, and Cosmetology, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Education, and a Doctoral Degree in Theology.  Patricia is a board-certified life coach and board-certified Chaplain.

She is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NACCP), and the Krewe of Mer.  Her hobbies and interests include hairstyling, working with the Sister-to-Sister Women Group, and being a Cater Assistant.  Patricia’s philosophy of life is Jeremiah 29:11, “God Know the Plans He has for Me.”

Duchess Ashley Henry Walton

Ashley is married to Lawrence Walton; together they have two sons: Jordan (18) and Tristan (8).   She is a 1999 graduate of St. Joseph Catholic School in Greenville, MS, and a 2009 Graduate of Copiah Lincoln Community College.  Ashley is currently working to complete a B.S. in Accounting from Liberty University, this summer.   She is employed with Southwest Mississippi Planning and Development District.

Ashley attends Holy Family Catholic Church.  She is a member of the Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxillary and the Natchez Garden Club.  Ashley has been a member of the Krewe of Mer for 15 years and has served as a recording secretary.  Her hobbies include spending time with family and friends, shopping, traveling and just enjoying life.  Ashley’s philosophy of life is to “Live Life To The Fullest Because Tomorrow Is Not Promised.”