LEVEE BREACH 10
Dominique Adansi-Bona & Baba KenAmen Bettis I was born
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
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.
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
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
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
where everyone thought that that was the best thing for me to do
and the best school for me to go to.
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
And, I am black
Like cornbread is black
(Crispy at the bottom
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”
I am golden
I am light hearted and
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.
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……