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The Neoliberal DelugeHurricane Katrina, Late Capitalism, and the Remaking of New Orleans$
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Cedric Johnson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816673247

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816673247.001.0001

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Black and White, Unite and Fight?

Black and White, Unite and Fight?

Identity Politics and New Orleans’s Post-Katrina Public Housing Movement

Chapter:
(p.152) Chapter 6 Black and White, Unite and Fight?
Source:
The Neoliberal Deluge
Author(s):

John Arena

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816673247.003.0006

This chapter examines the identity politics underlying the actions, decisions, analyses, and ideologies of the social movement organizations and actors who aided and undermined the effectiveness of the public housing movement in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In particular, it considers the struggle to halt demolition of public housing units throughout the city after Katrina. Like the efforts to privatize the city school district, attempts to rid New Orleans of public housing stock were well under way before Katrina, but the conditions of mass exodus and weakened grassroots organizations created an opportunity for opponents of public social provision to advance their agenda. Once viewed as a necessary feature of its urban landscape, public housing was the object of scorn in many corners of the city prior to Katrina, with some viewing the removal of this housing stock as the remedy to the city’s crime rates and general economic development woes. The chapter chronicles the efforts of organizations such as Community Concern Compassion (C3)/Hands Off Iberville to defend the right of displaced residents to return to their apartments after Katrina.

Keywords:   social movement organizations, public housing, New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina, demolition, grassroots organizations, apartments, identity politics

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