KatrinaTruth.org is a reminder that progress without equity is injustice.
On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Louisiana. More than 1,800 lives were lost and 600,000 people were left homeless. August 29, 2015 marks the ten-year anniversary of the storm and provides an important opportunity to reflect on the ways that New Orleans has changed since Katrina. Primarily, the anniversary provides an opportunity to discuss the shortcomings of the recovery efforts that prioritize privatization, gentrification and White leadership.
It is no surprise that shortly after the storm, some in New Orleans reflected that Katrina provided an “opportunity… to transform our city,” and today, many of the same people celebrate New Orleans as “America’s best comeback story.”
America’s best comeback city is one where the Black median income remains less than one half of the White median income. It is a city where the Black unemployment rate is nearly three times the rate of White unemployment. It is a city where only 30 percent of residents in the predominately Black Lower 9th Ward have been able to return to their homes as the mostly undamaged public housing they once lived in – and fought to stay in – were condemned after the storm.
The facts and figures presented on this website invite a more nuanced look at the progress made since Katrina. As we enter the second decade following the storm, it is imperative that we demand and support solutions that benefit ALL of New Orleans. We cannot do this unless we first respond to the erasure of Black struggle post-Katrina. Unless stakeholders and public officials are all honest about racial inequity, they cannot fully commit to a recovery and development that is more equitable and sustainable.