Down in New Orleans: Reflections from a Drowned City by Billy Sothern

By Billy Sothern

"Post-Katrina New Orleans hasn't been a simple position to reside, it hasn't been a simple position to be in love, it hasn't been a simple position to keep up your self or see the brilliant part of things." So displays Billy Sothern during this riveting and unforgettable insider's chronicle of the epic 2005 catastrophe and the 12 months that undefined. Sothern, a loss of life penalty legal professional who along with his spouse, photographer Nikki web page, arrived within the Crescent urban 4 years sooner than Katrina, promises a haunting, own, and quintessentially American tale. Writing with an idealist's ardour, a journalist's eye for element, and a lawyer's consciousness to injustice, Sothern recounts their fight to come back to phrases with the enormity of the apocalyptic situation they controlled to pass though. He courses the reader on a trip via post-Katrina New Orleans and an array of indelible pictures: prisoners deserted of their cells with waters emerging, an established New Orleans resident of center jap descent unfairly imprisoned within the days following the typhoon, trailer-bound New Orleanians suffering to make ends meet yet celebrating with abandon in the course of Mardi Gras, Latino development staff residing of their vehicles. As a lawyer-activist who has committed his existence to deciding to buy justice for a few of society's such a lot disenfranchised electorate, Sothern deals a robust imaginative and prescient of what Katrina has intended to New Orleans and what it nonetheless ability to the state at huge.

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Extra resources for Down in New Orleans: Reflections from a Drowned City

Sample text

Unlike in New York, where I saw my good friends occasionally, the intimacy of New Orleans led to me to see Mike all the time. And though I had other close friends through work, the stress and frustration of representing people condemned to die mean that people in my field tend not to stay around for long. So Mike became my constant, a connection to my own history. In the gathering despair of that Tuesday, with little money and no foreseeable hope for a job back in flood-devastated New Orleans, Mike booked a one-way plane ticket to New York.

Tourists look past these sights in the same manner travelers in the developing world do, with a passing thought that “the poor will always be among us,” or some other comforting platitude. It is the hard-hearted view that we all must adopt when confronted with the manifold misery that exists in the world, and that the world, apparently, can’t exist without. Perhaps the tourists believe that such misery can be similarly viewed in the South, rationalizing that, in the wake of the civil rights movement, America has washed its hands of the stains of slavery, Jim Crow, and racism.

Mike asked a couple of cursory questions about where I had bought my sandwich and then addressed Mia exclusively before walking away, with barely a nod to me. “This Blues Is Just Too Big” / 27 About six years later, Mike and I became reacquainted, again through a mutual friend, Sarah, with whom Mike had gone to Wesleyan and with whom I worked as a summer volunteer at a New Orleans anti–death penalty law office during law school. Like Mia, Sarah was sure that Mike and I would become fast friends.

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