Ah me. New Orleans.
I took a long drive today, originally headed out to the Common Grounds compound in the Ninth Ward, a district hit the hardest. As I drove further out Claiborne Street, signs of hurricane destruction became more and more apparent, until I was surrounded by nothing but devastation-except for the new shiny blue Burger King. I began to cry, there in my helmet, under the watching hot sun. I didn’t care that I was in what people tell me is a “bad area,” I had to stop and process what I was witnessing. Yes, I am a traveler here and I did not experience this suffering first hand, but I recognize the pain and injustice I see. I offer my respects and strength to the peoples of New Orleans. May you experience solidarity as a community, continue to rise up and face the big questions.
I will not be taking photos of all these destroyed houses and buildings. It is not my place to snap pictures in these neighborhoods. If you want to see them, come see yourself-make a pilgrimage and witness the biggest natural disaster to ever happen on American soil.
Instead, I am taking photos of the community and its peoples; their beauty, resilience and weariness. Hopefully, their new chapters will wax brightly here in the Crescent City.
I have been greeted properly-welcomed into the vibrant culture that pulses through New Orleans. Today I experienced many personal shifts and have engaged in many powerful discussions. Eyes and heart ever open, I thank all those along my path today.
Gulu, she interviewed me for the college radio-and then I interviewed her. But, I left my book at her house, so I will quote her later.
Goodnight. Thank you for continuing to stop by and read this blog. Drop me a line if you firstname.lastname@example.org