Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Pre-Trip/When the Levees Broke

So before heading down to New Orleans, we were asked to watch "When the Levees Broke", a Spike Lee documentary about Katrina and its devastating effects on the Gulf Coast, particularly in New Orleans. Lee's documentary was incredibly eye-opening and it was truly heartbreaking to see the injustices inflicted on the people of the Gulf Coast. When Hurricane Katrina first hit, I remember looking at the pictures coming out of New Orleans and just being completely shocked. One image has always stayed with me - the image of the Humanity Street sign almost being overcome by flood waters. It just seemed so symbolic of the horrible conditions survivors of the hurricane had to face. As the documentary pointed out so powerfully, residents of New Orleans were called refugees in their own homes, which they (correctly) argued was dehumanizing. The survivors of Katrina are American citizens, but unfortunately, they were not treated as such during the aftermath of Katrina.

Overall, I am really looking forward to this trip. Though Spike Lee's documentary focused primarily on the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina and the injustices facing the residents of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, his documentary also showed the resilient spirit of New Orleans, which was truly remarkable and awesome to see. I cannot wait to get there and hopefully help in rebuilding this amazing city.

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