During my days as a Katrina evacuee in Hampton, Virginia, I knew that New Orleanians were having challenging times in just about every city and state. Never did I imagine that those here at home were going through the horrible experiences that I later learned about.
Within a day or two after the hurricane, I was able to see pictures on the TV of people walking through water trying to get to higher ground, trying to get to safety. I was very angry - and still am. Hearing that the levee broke in the Lower Ninth Ward did not resonate with truth. After all, I have always lived in New Orleans. I know the history and was aware that the levee was bombed twice before, in the20s and in the 60s. The people were sacrificed at the wishes of those in control. So hearing this again and seeing these images on the TV, I felt compelled to make sure that the world finds out what happened. The only way that I could make such an impact was to create paintings that would teach others about the facts and document the truth.
My mission was and is to ensure that the world learns about what happened to the people in the city of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and that those of us that are aware will never forget. So, with this two-fold mission, I painted the first painting, Remember! The Forgotten Horrors After Katrina, detailing the bombing of the levee, the flooding of the city, and the plight of the people.
“If it is not important to us, then it will never be important to them.
Even if it is never important to them, it must always be important to us.”
Beverly Kimble Davis
That was really the only painting I thought that I would do, but after being in New Orleans for a while, I started hearing of horrible atrocities that had taken place in those dark days. I heard of police shooting and killing innocent unarmed civilians and of military actions that should not have taken place. I heard of Blackwater, the killer mercenary group hired by our government and some of the elite, with orders to kill. There were the white vigilantes who shot and killed Black men that were darker than a brown paper bag because they did not want the men to walk through the neighborhood to get to an evacuation zone. Unbelievable atrocities! The list goes on…
So! I paint because I want you to know. I want the world to know. Even here in New Orleans, there are people who do not know many of the stories. They’re not talked about so much. It is as if Katrina and all the happenings of that period are not important. It’s as if the people “sacrificed”, as I call it, were insignificant. The powers that be would like for us to just forget about it as if it never happened, but we must never forget. In fact, we will never forget. It is our responsibility to actively remember and to make sure others learn about this.
I ask you to help me with this mission. Purchase a print. Study it. Do research – don’t just take my word. The paintings are designed to teach what happened. Perhaps you can buy one for someone else. Think about it; at least one print in every home and business, and down through the years the stories can be told and others will learn. Let’s let the world know. Your help is appreciated.