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anti-racism | katrina aftermath

Six Feet of Water in the Streets of Evangeline

On the 2nd anniversary of Katrina
I've been bouncing back and forth between sadness and anger this morning; the 2 year anniversary of Katrina devouring the Gulf Coast. New Orleans was my favorite city in the world. I'm sad and angry because that great city and her people (mostly low income black folks) continue to go largely unattended to by the US Government in the 2 years since. Was Kanye West inaccurate when he proclaimed; "President Bush doesn't care about black people"? I'd have to say he hit the nail on the head when looking at what the Bush administration has done to put that city back together again.

Did you ever have a chance to visit New Orleans prior to its' destruction? I went there twice when I was in my roaring twenties. Mardi gras remains as the greatest memory I have of partying in my entire life. But it isn't just the revelry that has stayed with me since my visits way back when, it's the all that the Big Easy was.

Po Boy sandwiches, Dixie Land Jazz, Mark Twain, the Muddy Mississip, the street cars, the Doobie Brothers, Buster Holmes' (red beans and rice), Louis Armstrong, voodoo, coffee with chicory, the Times Picayune, the old Southern homes with their tall ceilings, the Neville Brothers, grits, the list goes on and on. Who'd have thought it could all be wiped out by a storm?

When Randy Newman penned the lyrics to "Louisiana 1927" sometime around 1990, I don't think he was envisioning what would happen some 15 years down the road. What really gets me is that as far back as 1926 (the Mississippi overflowed its' banks the year before the Big Flood) it was known that the levies would eventually breech... it was just a question of when. I've pasted those lyrics below, in honor of this sad date in US history.

"What has happened down here is the wind has changed
Clouds roll in from the north and it started to rain
Rained real hard and rained for a real long time
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline

The river rose all day
The river rose all night
Some people got lost in the flood
Some people got away alright
The river have busted through clear down to Plaquemines
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline

Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away
Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away

President Coolidge came down in a railroad train
With a little fat man with a note-pad in his hand
The President say, "Little fat man isn't it a shame what the river has
done
To this poor crackers land."

Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away
Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away"

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