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Changing Communities, Imminent Threats: Katrina’s Legacy

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On August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina ripped through the Southern Gulf Coast. Drawn by reconstruction work, the number of Latino immigrants has nearly doubled. Reconstruction after Hurricane Katrina drew thousands of people from India, Brazil, Mexico, Honduras, and other Latin American countries.  Workers were charged with pulling dead bodies from abandoned homes and rebuilding New Orleans. But the influx of migrant workers also increased immigration crackdowns.

Making Contact’s Jasmin Lopez follows Jose Monterubio, a reconstruction worker. He tells us about his detention and how he stands for immigrant rights with the support of Congress of Day Laborers. Next, Jose Torres Tama recites Corporate Coyotes Smuggle Immigrant Workers, a poem from his book Immigrant Dreams, Alien Nightmares.

Ten years later after hurricane Katrina, it’s estimated there are nearly 100,000 fewer African Americans living in the city of New Orleans.  Andrew Stelzer visits the Lower 9th Ward Living Museum, to learn how some are trying to preserve the lessons and legacies of the past. And we talk to a resident of one of the ultramodern homes built by Brad Pitt’s Make it Right project.

As a new lower 9th ward emerges, what will it look like and who will be included in the remake?

Featuring:

  • Luis Medina, immigrant reconstruction worker
  • Jose Monterrubio, immigrant reconstruction worker
  • Jose Torres-Tama, artist
  • Robert Green, Lower 9th Ward resident
  • Beck Cooper, Director of the Lower 9th Ward Living Museum

New Orleans Reconstruction Workers Fight to Remain

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina ripped through the Southern Gulf Coast. Katrina left a trail of devastation stretching for years to come. Ten years later, it’s estimated there are nearly 100,000 fewer African Americans living in the city of New Orleans. Drawn by reconstruction work, the number of Latino immigrants has nearly doubled. Reconstruction after Hurricane Katrina drew thousands of people from India, Brazil, Mexico, Honduras, and other Latin American countries. Workers were charged with pulling dead bodies from abandoned homes and rebuilding New Orleans. But the influx of migrant workers also increased immigration crackdowns.

 

The Lower 9th Ward Lives On

10 years ago, the Lower 9th Ward became infamous for being the most intensely flooded part of New Orleans. Its population is now a fraction of what it once was. The exodus not only decimated a community, but threatens to erase the history of this largely poor, African-American district which is rich with both community, and controversy. Authorities intentionally blew up the levees and flooded the lower 9th on purpose back in 1927—that left a scar of distrust of authorities that lasts to the present day. We visit the Lower 9th Ward Living Museum, to learn how some are trying to preserve the lessons and legacies of the past. And we talk to a resident of one of the ultramodern homes built by Brad Pitt’s Make it Right project. As a new lower 9th ward emerges, what will it look like and who will be included in the remake?

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