By Arturo R. García
A new interactive documentary is helping residents of the Central City neighborhood of New Orleans tell their stories of recovery–their own and their community’s.
Healing Histories is part of the America Healing initiative, launched by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation two years ago working with various organizations around the country. The documentary allows viewers to follow a group of residents involved in projects around Central City, like Tamara Jackson (pictured at right), who heads the SAPC Task Force Second Line brass band, fulfilling a dream she says she’s nurtured since watching them as a child.
“The brass bands give off a feeling that’s almost undescribable,” she says. “Usually when you hear the horn blow, people open their windows, open their doors, the anticipation is so great, it’s hard to describe. It’s the heartbeat of New Orleans.”
Formed during the Jim Crow era, Jackson says, Second Line has evolved from being a resource for raising burial funds for residents of color into helping raise awareness on a number of issues in post-Katrina Central City.
“Healthcare is an issue, crime is an issue. People are still trying to come back home, rebuilding has become a challenge. Our educational system is broken,” she says. “We advocate on behalf of the communities we parade in.”
There’s no YouTube links for the documentary, but the various short stories can be seen at the Healing Histories website.
Full disclosure: Racialicious’ publisher, Latoya Peterson, has worked for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.