Katrina 10 Years Later


A photo of the aftermath, pictured in Spike Lee’s “When the Levees Broke” Source: hbo.com

To honor victims of Hurricane Katrina, Faculty led discussions showcased the distinct culture of New Orleans, while also taking advantage of different media formats such as art, music, and film.

Professors Bess Vincent and Vincent Intondi organized the event, hoping to educate students about the effects of the storm in New Orleans and the surrounding Gulf Coast region.

“That’s why Bess Vincent and I did all of this,” said Intondi, “for us it’s always about the students.

Vincent and Intondi showed many short films and documentaries on the subject of Hurricane Katrina, followed by a short discussion.

Spike Lee’s four act documentary “When the Levees Broke,” was one of the films shown. In the documentary, Lee portrays the events before and after Katrina hit New Orleans.

The documentary showed how New Orleans was one of the poorest cities in America when the storm took place, and how it greatly devastated already impoverished communities. These communities were made up of primarily African-Americans.

The film also goes on to talk about the Louisiana Superdome (now the Mercedez-Benz Superdome), and how it contributed to the problem.

The local residents in New Orleans were forced to evacuate from their homes to the Superdome that was supposed to contain food, water, and supplies.

However, the Superdome was not adequately equipped to contain the amount of people that needed to be inside.

The film also mentioned that people that depended on public transportation and those unable to leave due to medical issues waited in their homes for resources from the government.

In the aftermath, many homes and properties were damaged leaving residents that lived paycheck to paycheck homeless.

Unfortunately, it was not easy for residents to leave because New Orleans was their home. Many people had nowhere else to go.

According to the film, Former President George W Bush and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) created controversy for their lack of timely response to the affected communities in the days following the disaster.

Several countries around the world attempted to deliver necessities to the victims, but FEMA refused over the fear of being sued.

The film also mentioned that the United States Coast Guard played an important role in finding survivors from the storm.

After a slew of films like Lee’s, Vincent and Intondi discussed the event and answered any questions.

They stressed the importance of remembering all the victims of Katrina that were treated unfairly due to their socioeconomic class, race, and age by the government. Their hope is that none of us forget.