Exorcising Katrina

June 19th, 2007 by Tim Barkow  

The first day of Hurricane Season 2007, I celebrated my friend Val’s 40th birthday by doing an interpretive dance on the makeshift stage in her Mid-City backyard. The soundtrack? The late John Campbell’s version of “When the Levee Breaks” by Memphis Minnie. It was danced as an exorcism, re-enacting the levee-breaking surge as a way of banishing those demons (and the Army Corps of Engineers’ miscalculations) for another year. As Chapter 4 of A.D. reminds us, we all reacted to Katrina in our own ways. But what got us through that disaster, and what continues to help us face the possibility of future disasters, is our collective will to survive. It’s a very powerful force.

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