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HomeHomeKATRINA COMMEMORATION: Ten years later, what’s really changed? Part 2

KATRINA COMMEMORATION: Ten years later, what’s really changed? Part 2


“Katrina 10 has cyber raped the city.” – Quincy “Vitamin Q” Williams (Popular blogger & entrepreneur/Founder of Vitamin Q)

While Dre and I are not from the city, we both love it and recognize what a special place the real, authentic New Orleans is and has been to many, us included.  We have several staff members who are native New Orleanians and current residents. I own a business there and frequent the city for both business and pleasure. I know literally thousands of people from New Orleans, many of whom are currently residing there. Very few of them are standing idly by singing Kumbayah with Mayor Mitch Landrieu and they sure as hell weren’t dancing with former President Bush earlier today. What is being fed to the media smells more like bullshit than literal bullshit. I am appalled at the propaganda that has been promoted for the past couple of weeks. What New Orleans is it that is being shown on national and international media? It sure isn’t the one I see. What I do remember seeing is George Bush come to the city, while faking like he was rolling up his sleeves because some publicist or political consultant thought it would be a great photo op – or when he told “Brownie” what a good job he did. Why anybody thought a great contemporary photo op would be Bush dancing with a Warren Easton administrator is beyond me. It should have been the last thing the media showed, but as always, they served up an extra-large plate of unbelievable bullshit. And as always, most of America bought it hook, line and sinker. It’s no wonder much of the city lies in ruins while soon-to-be real estate moguls buy it up, only to sell it to the highest bidder once they’ve slapped on a coat of paint and put down some new tile floors. People have to wake up.

Take Hollygrove for example. This is a 17th Ward neighborhood that lies near I-10, Carrollton Avenue and Airline Highway. It is ground zero for much of the world’s musical talent and was even home to superstars like Lil Wayne and Mack Maine, prior to their success. Some beautiful souls grew up there; many still live there, but by the hardest because of what has taken place since the storm. Take a drive through Hollygrove and you will know New Orleans has not bounced back. Make sure you take a slow drive – the streets have potholes the size of craters and there are many homes and apartments still boarded up – as if it were the middle of September, 2005. It’s as if part of the city is frozen in time. Travel to the Ninth Ward and there is even more proof of this. Before Katrina struck, predominantly African-American neighborhoods like Hollygrove and portions of the Ninth Ward were ground zero for one of the largest areas of homeowners in this country. These neighborhoods are now ground zero for blight and blocks of overgrown lots. Ask anybody about the so-called Road Home Program and most will tell you it should be renamed Road to Debt Program. What wasn’t stolen by some contractors never made it to the people of the area. What did make it was just enough to get them into debt – debt that prior Katrina was pretty much non-existent for those same folks. It’s difficult to explain if you haven’t actually been on the ground observing the day to day activities of those in charge, but it is real nonetheless.

Read Parts 1 & 3 of “KATRINA COMMEMORATION: 10 years later, what’s really changed?”

Part 1:

Part 3:

Arlene Culpepper, Asst. Editor-in-Chief
Arlene Culpepper, Asst. Editor-in-Chief
Vice-President & Asst. Editor-in-Chief of The Heat Magazine, Arlene is a Louisiana native, Certified Paralegal, Publicist, Owner of MIKODreamz PR, co-owner of 504Diffusion, writer, producer, and jack of all trades, who is heavily involved in her community as well as serving as Media Advisor for New Orleans Union for Entertainment (NOUE), Member of the NOLA Music Awards from 2012-present & Member of the Press Club of New Orleans. Her work is published across the web. Her PR work has been highly recognized & awarded. She was/is publicist for the late great BTY YoungN, 0017th and more. She is also working on her first novel & aspires to turn it into a film & is currently writing the authorized biography of the legendary Pimp C of UGK. She can be reached via email at Follow her on Twitter - @CategorySeven & Instagram - @hurricanearlene.


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