"This is the most important book I've read about Katrina and what came after. In the tradition of Howard Zinn this could be called 'The People's History of the Storm.' Jordan Flaherty was there on the front lines."Eve Ensler, playwright of The Vagina Monologues and activist and founder of V-Day
"Jordan Flaherty brings the sharp analysis and dedication of a seasoned organizer to his writing, and insightful observation to his reporting. He unfailingly has his ear to the ground in a city that continues to reveal the floodlines of structural racism in America."Tram Nguyen, author of We Are All Suspects Now: Untold Stories from Immigrant Communities after 9/11
Floodlines is a firsthand account of community, culture, and resistance in New Orleans. The book weaves the stories of gay rappers, Mardi Gras Indians, Arab and Latino immigrants, public housing residents, and grassroots activists in the years before and after Katrina. From post-Katrina evacuee camps to torture testimony at Angola Prison to organizing with the family members of the Jena Six, Floodlines tells the stories behind the headlines from an unforgettable time and place in history.
Jordan Flaherty is a writer and community organizer based in New Orleans. In addition to his award-winning post-Katrina journalism, he was the first journalist with a national audience to write about the Jena Six case and played an important role in bringing the story to theattention of the world. He has produced news segments for Al-Jazeera, TeleSur, and Democracy Now! and appeared as a guest on a wide range of television and radio shows, including CNN's American Morning, Anderson Cooper 360, CNN Headline News, GRITtv, Keep Hope Alive with Reverend Jesse Jackson, and both local and nationally syndicated shows on National Public Radio.
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, it was a tragedy. What followed was a government-sanctioned travesty. Flaherty, a white New Orleans resident and journalist, interviews a number of locals about the recovery effort, outlining a systemic pattern that includes restrictions of service, human rights violations, and destruction of property targeting the city's African-American majority. The behavior of the notorious New Orleans police department towards this community is appalling, but even more distressing is Flaherty's reporting on the failure of the federal government to respond to the needs of its citizens, and their use of paramilitary mercenaries to enforce a pattern of brutal occupation. To learn how profoundly the system failed (and continues to fail) will be extremely difficult for some readers, and Flaherty pulls no punches in his quest to uncover failures, highlighting how the systems in place for rebuilding (foundation support, non-profit groups, military intervention) remain woefully inadequate. Readers will be compelled, depressed, disturbed, and angered by what they find in this well-written report. Crucial reading.