LEVEE BREACH 10

Dominique Adansi-Bona & Baba KenAmen Bettis I was born

and raised

and razed here in

The Crescent City of Southern Decadence

and mis-hospitality .

Where Bacchus, Rex and Saints

Grand Marshall a parade that celebrates

the genocidal Reality TV show

called Katrina.

Where dead bodies float across the parade routes,

and the concept of the dirty south

is without a doubt

now in its 10th Season.

The word is

they are all three Djaying.

sponsoring parties……

An outdoor concert

downtown in the face of mass fatality, mass drowning and

blatant, arbitrary rescue.

My Family lived East

of a series of parades

and celebrations of

bourbon, beer and buffalo wing sauce, hangovers and

pararde after parade after parade of

Blindian (Black Indian) Metaphors

and historical mythologies

are under water for days

We lived East of a bowl game where

Blindian cultural-prostitution, gambling and

A Grambling/Southern rivalry.

My family is survivors of this sac religious

baptized

Ten years ago

Our homes and all of the possessions,

our pictures, our skillets,

our beds, clothing and very fabric of life was

waterlogged and drenched with criminal indifference and refugee status.

We experienced first hand the

lack of Christian values in action.

We watched the quick response and humanitarian effort

Not like we saw in Sri Lanka happen in the case of New Orleans

right before our eyes.

The lack of decision-making on behalf of “the decider”

Me and my family learned first hand that

Sea to shining sea does not include the

African American residents of New Orleans

on or around the gulf of Mexico.

We are the carpenters, laborers and skilled craftsmen

who saw FEMA become an acronym for

Find Every Mexican Available,

so we can fix up on Uptown

and unemploy thousands of Black Urban New Orleanian Craftsmen

at the same time

with all that money the federal government

gon give us

to rebuild the downtown we just drowned

along with as many niggers as we could

in the process of gentrification by water.

My family, manually labored themselves

into three bedroom ranch homes

with sheds and fences and this time

without chickens

unless you was from the ninth originally

cause folks in the ninf still raises they own chickens.

I was making the ride from The East

in the morning

to drive by St. Aug so daddy could say that’s where he went to school

onto Cabrini

where everyone thought that that was the best thing for me to do

and the best school for me to go to.

The East

They were sending us children to St. Aug

saint this and saint that

in the spirit of trying to get a better education

only to find ourselves

realizing that us children learned self hatred.

The carpenters and laborers and day workers and mystical entertainers

who have been here for generations

supposedly from Haiti on my daddy side

Sevinf ward on my mama’s

I am New Orleans

Noire leans

Nawlins

Nola

And, I am black

Like cornbread is black

Golden Yellow

(Crispy at the bottom

Comforting

Salty

Buttery)

in a symbiotic relationship with Collard Greens and yams….

I am black

like red beans and rice is an African adaptation to this land

like it fills the belly and warms the soul

I am Noire Leans

I am light

I am light skinned

I am bright skinned and I am that I am that I am Black.

I identify as Black

I am not creole

We are light family

and we are none the less and all the “Moor”

Black.

I am golden

I am light hearted and

sunly

I am Black gold ……

Yeah I am Black Gold

I am New Orleans.

And I am pissed on how and why we (Blacks) participate in this farcical-filled

tragedy…….this absurd lie being told on Katrina. You see, the problem is the levee

breach. Say it with me “levee breech”. You see in ten places the people in the ninth

especially and the East for certainly were black and the fact is they wanted to

destroy we……But we will never go away…….

I say this because there are many who just arrived post-levee breach and only know

this new-New Orleans but speak about it as thought they are experts, ask KRS One

and he’ll tell you, “You can’t just eat a slice of pizza and all of a sudden you’re an

expert on Italian Culture….”

Before the levee breach there was something about folks from New Orleans, her

children don’t seem to leave. I was in New York when the Levees Broke and

watched on the news as Black New Orleans was being drowned by the ugliness that

is Blanc New Orleans, Blanc America, Blanc Mississippi and Blanc Government.

Then they called the Children of New Orleans, Refugees. Today, I think my

overwhelming feeling is anger, and so I Breathe.

The Lakefront once a meeting place for Black New Orleans is now empty. The

grassy edge has been cemented, with little 4x4 cut outs for perfect new palm trees.

It looks like New York. AWEFUL, and lifeless. The architect missed the newsflash

water needs earth to be swallowed, cement no good for flood zone. Taxes in my all

black community are up 300% but the neighborhood is post-Katrina. The tax bill

arrives in November and if not paid in full by June 1st, the city charges a tax sale cost

of $261 that goes to a private contractor, Archon. Street lights don’t work, streets

are full of pot holes and cracks, Old oak trees that used to line the block were cut

down after the Levee Breech for no reason and not put back. Homeowners pay $24

a month for garbage pickup, $50 to $100 for water bill. And, Post Katrina 7000

teachers fired without due process, 80% black, replaced with under-experienced

white hippees with dreams of forgiven school loans in an 85% black student school

system. And, most jobs pay $7.50 an hour. Last year respite workers went from

making $10 an hour to $8 an hour and just last week got skimped to $7.50 an hour

and rents rise, taxes rise, the cost of food rises and they wonder why the crime rises.

Hmmmm…..

Now I feel sick. So, I’m going to stop here. This is no longer the special place, of

generations and generations and generations of Black New Orleanians who never

leave. They were forced out at Levee Breech at gunpoint by over-zealous,

government-funded Military. This is now some pristine white man’s dream.

Returning blacks pushed out by rising taxes, uneducating schools, over-populated

prisons, cheaply built projects (the old ones that they tore down were actually well-

built forts) and Second Lines….Second Lines….Second Lines. How ironic is that!

Second lines……..Well, I’m leaving. I can no longer be the Second Line to the white

man’s party. I’ll keep my house of course and drop in for visits, plus the children

will need refuge until they realize that salvation for The Black Children of New

Orleans is somewhere else……and when we leave, so goes the magic……

PoetrySteve Cannon