New Website Highlights Plight of Black New Orleans a Decade After Katrina

By Kenrya Rankin Aug 19, 2015

As the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s attack on New Orleans quickly approaches, a new website looks to examine the lives of African Americans living there who are still struggling to recover.

Launched today by civil rights organization Advancement Project and juvenile justice group Friends and Families of Louisiana’s Incarcerated examines “the shortcomings of the recovery efforts that prioritize privatization, gentrification and White leadership.” The site views the recovery through several difference lenses, including housing, criminal justice, education, environmental justice and LGBTQ issues.

“ is a direct response to the erasure of the Black struggle post-Katrina,” Judith Browne Dianis, co-director of Advancement Project, said in a press release. “The facts and data presented on the site compel a more nuanced look at progress in New Orleans. What you will see is that the development touted by the city and state completely disregards the lack of progress for Black New Orleans. This is both nonsensical and reprehensible.”

Among the key data presented:

Housing: Just 11 percent of the families who lived in the “Big Four” public housing communities have been able to return to the rebuilt complexes, which were demolished and turned in to mixed income housing. There are just 2,006 public housing units available, versus 12,270 pre-Katrina. There are 13,013 families on the Section 8 waiting list, which has been closed since September 2009 (94.7 percent of those families are black).

Economic Inequality: The unemployment rate for black men in NOLA is 52 percent, and black women make $0.49 for each dollar white men make in Louisiana. While white families’ median income is $60,553, it is just $25,102 for black families. Half (50.5 percent) of black children live in poverty. That percentage was 44 percent before Katrina.

Queer and Trans People of Color: A full 87 percent of the trans* POC have been approached by police, versus 33 percent of their white counterparts. They are frequently profiled as sex workers, with 54 percent reporting at least one instance of profiling. One in every five people housed in Louisiana’s juvenile detention centers identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* or queer. 

See all the collected data at