August 24, 2022 – Children are pulled from flooded rooftops and placed in open metal baskets swirling in the wind as they are lifted into Coast Guard helicopters. Their faces are marked by a mixture of tiredness and fear. Similar rescues are repeated several times, then a lone helicopter drifts over a huge block of water.
The incendiary video – which appears without words – serves as the opening of a new documentary, Katrina Babespremieres today on HBO and HBO Max.
The scenes are as chilling now as they were 17 years ago, when a Category 3 hurricane struck New Orleans on August 29, 2005. Subsequent failures of levees across the city led to immediate and catastrophic flooding, particularly in low-income and lower black majority 9The tenth Ward, as many residents were unwilling or unable to get out before the storm hit.
Those days in August 2005 were just the beginning of a difficult journey for hundreds of thousands, but especially, perhaps, for those who were too young to understand the catastrophe that inundated 80% of the city.
The documentary tells the story of some children who survived from their point of view.
Nearly 1,000 people, and possibly many more, lost their lives – no full accounting has been made for the number of deaths caused by Hurricane Katrina.. Over a million people were initially displaced, and a month later, at least 600,000 families are still displaced and According to the data centerIt is a non-profit organization based in New Orleans.
The creator was born in New Orleans and raised in Katrina Babes, Edward Buckles, Jr., in the film that Katrina was particularly cruel to his community. “In America, especially during disasters, black children are not even an idea. Hurricane Katrina was no different,” he says in the voiceover. “After losing so much, why isn’t anyone asking if we’re okay? No one asked the children how they were doing.”
Abacles was 13 years old when Hurricane Katrina hit. He and his family were evacuated, enduring a 13-hour drive to a shelter in a town west of New Orleans. The journey usually takes two hours.
In the end, they returned to the city and got on with their lives. He was left behind with Katrina, or so he thought.
Bucks said he started Katrina Babes To tell the story of his cousins - his closest childhood friends – who stayed put during the storm.
He worked for years, interviewing his cousins and others who were kids in 2005. But it wasn’t until he interviewed Misha Williams – about 6 years into the project – that he, like her, never spoke to anyone about Shock Buckles says he felt Hurricane Katrina.
In the film, Williams, who was 12 and living in the Lafitte housing project during Hurricane Katrina, describes her family having to evacuate to the unair-conditioned, unsanitary, and crowded Morial Convention Center with tens of thousands of others. She saw a dead man on the street, and everything smelled like “poo,” she said. “It was scary,” she says, “and I was like, ‘Am I going to die,'” she says, “I’m not supposed to be here…it’s not real.”
Buckles asks if she’s ever talked about the experience. Williams cries and says “No.” He asks why. “I don’t know, nobody ever asked me,” Williams says.
Williams’ confession reinforced his determination to tell children’s stories, Buckles says.
Chaos and confusion
Many children said that Hurricane Katrina was more like an earthquake, and it put fault lines in communities.
Chase says. Cash, who was 17 when the storm hit, said that his family lived in a motel for a month, and “next thing you know, I live in Mississippi.”
Other children describe the shame and humiliation they felt when classmates called them “refugees” in their new towns. One, who was 16 during the storm, said her new principal asked her if she thought she would fit in. “What kind of question would you ask a girl who just came from her house and the water was 8 feet under,” she says in the movie. “Hell [expletive] No, I don’t want to be here, I don’t want to be here,” was her idea.
Sierra Chener, who was nine during the storm, describes the devastation she felt after her family was only able to retrieve one bag of trash from their belongings from their flooded home. “It was the first time I thought it actually happened — as if what we knew to be real was gone,” she says. Her family’s home and the entire neighborhood were gone.
“When a large part of your identity is where you live, specifically which neighborhood you are from, and that neighborhood is no longer the same, that house no longer exists, what does that do to your identity?” Says.
waves of violence
Chener and others spoke of the collapse of their communities as a possible reason for the continuing high level of violence in New Orleans.
In the middle of 2022, New Orleans acquired Highest murder rate per capita rate in America. It is a familiar city land,According to the New York TimesAnd the It has had the highest murder rate in the country ten times since 1993.
Buckles says black families have been torn apart before – by slavery and rift – Cocaine Epidemic. But those were gradual events, while Katrina did happen once, he says.
“After Hurricane Katrina, I saw more children armed than I had ever seen,” he says. “If you think about what children deal with from the perspective of trauma — if you think about it Post Traumatic Stress Disorderif you think of anxiety, if you think of fight or flight, if you think of anger and the grief of a child,” and combine that with the fact that no one has ever asked how he feels, it makes for a powerful drink.
“It makes you look at life as if no one cares about me, so I don’t care about myself,” he says.
Mid City AB, who was 13 during Hurricane Katrina, says in the movie that “the kids weren’t as rooted as they were before the storm.”
Even the youngest of them felt the effects. Chantrell Parker, who was 5 during Hurricane Katrina, was interviewed when he was a 16-year-old in a media class at Buckles High School. She said she yearned to be a consultant. She said, “I want to help people because I’ve been through so much in my life and I know how I feel…to feel like there’s no one here for you.”
Sadly, Parker was murdered about 5 years after that interview, when she was 21, Buckles included her story to remind people that “we have to pay attention to young people in New Orleans,” he says.
“These kids have this trauma, and no one treats it, they don’t know how to deal with it themselves,” he says.
Healing through the news
Sierra Chener says it’s been a long way to begin to understand her trauma.
“It’s hard to talk about Katrina because it requires having some form of vulnerability, you know, acknowledging that something happened to you and that it wasn’t okay,” she says in the film. “Being able to tell Katrina’s story helped me heal”; It was “healing something you didn’t know needed to heal from the start.”
Abacles says Katrina Babes bring revelation to him. “When I first started this project, I wasn’t looking for a cure,” he says. “I didn’t even realize that just talking about Hurricane Katrina provided a cure.”
This hadith is especially important in disadvantaged black communities, he says. “We don’t understand the power of just talking about something. We try to focus on so many things at once that we don’t stop to think about how we’re feeling, and we don’t think, ‘Let me talk about this,’ let alone going to a therapist,” he says.
The movie taught him that there is power in telling your story. “Because when you talk about it, you take it.”