Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Day 8: New Orleans, LA

Miles today: 50
Total: 1750

Today, the students had the morning to explore the city and sip cafe au laits and eat beignets at the world famous Cafe du Monde. In the afternoon, we toured a variety of sites hit by hurricane Katrina and the subsequent levee breaks and flooding. We have been coming here for three years, and we still see little progress in the Lower Ninth Ward. Here we talk about contemporary issues that intersect with race, class, environmental justice, health, and government responsibility. For recent reflections on these intersecting concerns, I recommend the excellent essay collection: Race, Place, and Environmental Justice after Hurricane Katrina. While we have not yet had the chance to meet with the folks at the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice Center, it's one of our future goals. [And it's housed at Dillard University, an HBCU in New Orleans.]

We also toured several CR-related sites around the city, including the McDonough School, one of the two elementary schools in the city that became the first in the Deep South to integrate. McDonough is where federal marshalls escorted the young Ruby Bridges to class, a site made famous by a Norman Rockwell painting [see above].

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