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The Wrong Complexion for ProtectionHow the Government Response to Disaster Endangers African American Communities$
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Robert D. Bullard and Beverly Wright

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814799932

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814799932.001.0001

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Growing Up in a City That Care Forgot, New Orleans

Growing Up in a City That Care Forgot, New Orleans

A Personal Perspective from Beverly Wright

(p.26) 2. Growing Up in a City That Care Forgot, New Orleans
The Wrong Complexion for Protection

Robert D. Bullard

Beverly Wright

NYU Press

In this chapter, the author shares her personal experience of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. In her experience of growing up in New Orleans, the author says the word “hurricane” was synonymous with heavy rain and a party. As she grew into adulthood, the hurricanes seemed to increase in intensity, leaving more and more water, more and more often. She reflects on Hurricane Betsy, which hit New Orleans in 1965, and the federal government's apparent lack of desire to protect the city's African Americans. She also laments what she perceives to be the government's utter failures during and after Katrina, along with her involvement in the struggle for equality and social justice for all people. According to the author, a large portion of her work has evolved around a framework of environmental justice. She also narrates her appearance at two congressional hearings that were held to understand exactly what had gone wrong with the government's preparation and response to natural disasters.

Keywords:   social justice, Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, hurricanes, Hurricane Betsy, African Americans, equality, environmental justice, congressional hearings, natural disasters

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