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Information is power. Our mission at Portside is to seek out and to provide information that empowers you -- that empowers the left. Every day we search hundreds of sources to connect you with the most interesting, striking and useful material. Just once a year we appeal to you to contribute to make it possible to continue this work. Please help.

 

poetry

Here nor There

Clint Smith Adroit Journal
The poet Clint Smith, born and raised in New Orleans, writes from a wistful perspective of the city “kept from becoming.”

The Funke Wisdom of Chocolate Cities

Mary F. Corey Praxis Center
A Review of Chocolate Cities: the Black Map of American Life by Marcus A. Hunter & Zandria F. Robinson, University of California Press. Chocolate Cities is an ode to agency. A work of truth-telling without polemics, this book almost literally breaks new ground, revising our most basic ideas of US geography while questioning the truth claims of social science itself.

labor

Shift Change: How New Orleans Hospitality Workers are Organizing Their Industry

Kat Stromquist Gambit
In an echo of national worker's rights movements such as Fight for $15 and OUR Walmart, New Orleans hospitality workers are coming together in an attempt to rearrange the building blocks of their industry. Both on their own and with the support of a union, workers are becoming their own advocates, in an effort to — as Marlene Patrick-Cooper, the local organizing director for the UNITE HERE union, often says — "turn poverty jobs into middle-class jobs."

Monumental Rubbish: With the Statues Torn Down, What Next for New Orleans?

Adolph Reed Jr. Common Dreams
New Orleans is better for being rid of the monuments that commemorated the mythology and actual history of slavery and segregation. But elites still govern. The politics of representation dovetails with the reigning discourse of diversity and a local political economy based on marketing "cultural authenticity. To the extent that antiracism centers of pursuit of recognition rather than altering patterns of distribution it will remain trapped in neoliberal inequakity.

Taking Down New Orleans’ Monuments: Not What You Think

Greg Laden Science Blogs
The back and forth between Democrats and White Supremacists on one hand and Republicans and Free Blacks on the other hand had involved military and paramilitary battles, individual homicides, massive voter intimidation efforts, and so on. The Colfax Massacre was a key point in that series of events. The Battle of Liberty Place was a continuation.

Lee Circle No More: New Orleans to Remove Four Confederate Statues

Richard Rainey The Times Picayune
"The time surely comes when (justice) must and will be heard," Mayor Mitch Landrieu told the council as he called for the statues to be put in a museum or a Civil War park. "Members of the council, that day is today. The Confederacy, you see, was on the wrong side of history and humanity."

labor

How the Ruling Class Remade New Orleans

Thomas Jessen Adams Jacobin
The language of social justice has been used to sell intensified neoliberalism in post-Katrina New Orleans. On the tenth anniversary of the failure of the federally maintained levees, the keynote speaker at the annual Rising Tide Conference on the Future of New Orleans was DeRay Mckesson, a standard-bearer for Teach For America and the New Teacher Project — education “reform” organizations that played a crucial role in the destruction of the black middle class.

The Hurricane Katrina Pain Index Ten Years Later

Bill Quigley Portside
Ten years after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005, the author looks at the pain index for those who were left behind. The population of New Orleans is noticeably smaller and noticeably whiter now and despite the tens of billions poured into Louisiana, the impact on poor and working people in New Orleans has been minimal. While not all the numbers are bad, they do illustrate who has benefited and who continues to suffer 10 years after Katrina.
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