Counter-narratives in New Orleans

Arsenal Bolt: Quick updates on the news stories we’re following.


From the forthcoming August 23, 2015 issue of the New York Times Magazine – “Why New Orleans’s Black Residents Are Still Underwater After Katrina”:

In this frustration, he represents what might be called the black Katrina narrative, a counterpoint to the jubilant accounts of Landrieu and other New Orleans boosters. This version of the story begins by noting that an African-American homeowner was more than three times more likely than a white one to live in a flooded part of town. Where Landrieu sees black and white coming together, many African-Americans recollect a different New Orleans: rifle-carrying sheriffs and police officers barricading a bridge out of an overwhelmed city because they didn’t want the largely black crowds walking through their predominantly white suburbs; a white congressman overheard saying that God had finally accomplished what others couldn’t by clearing out public housing; a prominent resident from the Uptown part of the city telling a Wall Street Journal reporter that in rebuilding, things would be ‘‘done in a completely different way, demographically, geographically and politically’’ — or he and his friends weren’t moving back.
Ten years after Katrina, only 36 percent of the Lower Ninth Ward’s population has returned, according to the New Orleans Data Center.

Editor’s note: Keep an eye out in the coming days for Arsenal For Democracy’s audio documentary on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with extensive firsthand narration. We started major recording on August 18th, and we’re working on finishing up shortly.

Bill Humphrey

About Bill Humphrey

Bill Humphrey is the primary host of WVUD's Arsenal For Democracy talk radio show and a local elected official.
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