Surviving Katrina...A Survivor's Story

by Doug Holloway

I don't know a lot about the inner workings of the political system here in my home town of Memphis. I know even less about those in New Orleans but recently I found myself inadvertently involved with both.

I went to New Orleans in October with politician and Pastor Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow Coalition. I was promised a job there which I didn't have here. After 2 days I had my job and set about rebuilding NO. Many people saw us as job "carpet baggers" and didn't want us there, while we were heroes come to save the city to others. It's ironic that I was there looking for work while many New Orleanians were here looking for work.

We were harassed on the job, threatened in our sleeping quarters and some who had cars were attacked/robbed at gas stations in the surrounding area. Once Rev Jackson left living conditions changed drastically and the job managers started procedures to let all out-of-state employees know, "you're not wanted here, these jobs are to entice local residents to come back home." Well, after 3 weeks I was saved by a spider bite that hospitalized me and sent me home. I miss the work, the people, and the money, but perhaps "Chocolate City" wasn't for me. Mayor Nagin doesn't have to remind me that as Dorothy said, "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore Toto."

Surviving Katrina...A Survivor's Story by Doug Holloway

© Copyright 2007. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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