(NNPA) – The Black Leadership Forum, led by the Hip Hop Caucus, returned to New Orleans last Sunday, August 29 —the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina—to raise righteous voices of indignation for the right of return and the rebuilding of housing for the poor.
As much as the Emmit Till murder did 55 years ago, Hurricane Katrina pulled back the cultural curtains and revealed the intersecting roads of race and poverty in the United States of America. In both cases, America’s egalitarian myth of civility to all her citizens was shattered by the photo of Till’s open casket in Chicago (Jet Magazine) and news images (CNN) of African Americans treated as animals and “refugees” in New Orleans.
Before and after Hurricane Katrina the City of New Orleans has been a case study in the oppressive confluence of race and poverty on African Americans. Prior to Katrina, New Orleans had the highest percentage of public housing residents in the nation, many of who were allowed to live poorly policed, sub-standard living conditions.