When tens of thousands of African Americans returned to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, they found a new, unwelcoming city. A city being transformed one hipster coffee shop at a time. Through gentrification, New Orleans leaders have managed to create a smaller, whiter New Orleans, one unwelcoming to those who have called the city home for their entire lives.
Many Louisiana politicians, business leaders and developers saw Katrina as an opportunity to destroy low-income housing and replace it with upscale condos and boutiques. Rich, white businessmen saw an opportunity and they didn’t hesitate to take it.
“Nobody can refute the fact that we have completely turned this story around,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in 2015, talking of streamlined government and year-over-year economic growth. “For the first time in 50 years, the city is on a trajectory that it has not been on, organizationally, functionally, economically, almost in every way.”
Continue Reading: How Gentrification Is Killing US Cities and Black Lives