Three Years After Katrina: While Republicans and Democrats Gather and Celebrate, A City Still Searches for Recovery
By Jordan Flaherty
Published on: August 27, 2008
New Orleaners are not happy with the assistance they've gotten from government -- or with the opening the disaster has provided for central planners to step in and gentrify old neighborhoods, especially traditionally Black ones. Most of all, the people of NOLA are learning that old American lesson, "If you want something done right, you've got to do it yourselves":
It's been community, not foundations or government, that has led this city's recovery at the grassroots. Bayou Road - a street of Black-owned, community-oriented, businesses in New Orleans' seventh ward – has rebuilt post-Katrina to more businesses than they had before the storm. It hasn't been government help that has enabled these businesses to come back, but the effort of community members coming together. It was also local support that brought back the membership of many cultural organizations, like the network of Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs, the century-old Black community institutions who organize secondline parades nearly every weekend throughout the year, as well as benefits for causes such as school supplies for students.