New Orleans: 2005 to Present

I know some of you have Katrina stories.  You remember what happened to you as a result of the storm.  Maybe you don’t really know much about Hurricane Katrina at all because you were very young.  Watch the following Day by Day account from National Geographic as an introduction to the hurricane that drastically altered New Orleans and the surrounding areas and still affects many aspects of our lives today.  What do you know about Katrina?  What do you not understand?

Here is a clip of C. Ray Nagin, Mayor of New Orleans at the time of Hurricane Katrina, talking to 60 Minutes about the slow response of the state and federal governments in the wake of the storm.

Also, this clip  from February of 2006 details a report by Congressional Republicans about who was to blame for the slow response to the hurricane.

What do these two clips tell you about the slow response?

Look at this map from the BBC in the days following the hurricane.


Notice the term “refugee.”  What does this imply about the people of New Orleans?  Why might this be a controversial term to use?

Scan this document from the U.S. Census Bureau.  Look specifically at the sections titled “Moved as a Result of Hurricane Katrina,” “Still in Transition,” and “Displacement Residence Types” as well as the charts and graphs associated with these sections.  What do find particularly interesting about these sections?

This is a link to StoryCorps stories about New Orleans.  Five out of the six stories on the page have to do with Hurricane Katrina.  Listen to THREE of the stories.  To which ones did you listen?  Which one did you find the most moving, eye-opening, or intriguing.  Why?

One of the most talked about moments in the days following Hurricane Katrina was Kanye West’s speech as part of the Red Cross Hurricane Relief special on national television.  What do you think about what West says?

Look at the pictures of thrown out refrigerators from Hurricane Katrina.  Why do you think the refrigerator became such a powerful symbol of the aftermath of the storm?


We are going to read part of Chris Rose’s book 1Dead in Attic in class, so I wanted to give you a bit of information on Chris Rose who became a major voice in New Orleans after the hurricane both in print and on local television.

Here he is reporting on the 500th day after Hurricane Katrina

and on the reaction of New Orleanians to the BP oil spill in 2010

and on the Saints and men in dresses

and on breaking out the fleur-de-lis symbol one more time

A few years ago, it felt like Chris Rose just fell off the face of the planet.  Here is an article about where he has been over the last few years and the struggles that he has had to endure.

Chris Rose recently wrote a blog post for the organization Love, Write, Light which seeks to light up Evacuspots like the one below in the event of another natural disaster.  Rose’s blog entry is in the same style of his “Dear America” column published in 2005 that we read in class.



Here is Dave Eggers talking about the main character of his book.  How does he describe Abdulrahman Zeitoun?  What lessons does he seem to learn from writing a book like this?

The NOLA Now team followed Zeitoun around a few years ago to revisit some of the sites that are featured in the book Zeitoun. What kind of a man does Abdulrahman Zeitoun seem to be?

Read this article from the New York Times about Zeitoun’s arrest in 2012 and this article from in 2013 about Zeitoun’s acquittal. How do the two articles describe Zeitoun?  How is this different from the impression you might have had in the two videos above?


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