By Dana C. Ayres
In the wake of the devastating tragedy of hurricane Katrina, there was a general outpouring of support from many people, both famous and no-so-famous.
Many were moved to solemn vows of support for the dying city in order to help rebuild and restore hope, strength and pride to the Crescent city and its loyal residents. Countless celebrities made personal commitments and created foundations to aid in the city’s growth and infrastructure. Among these celebrities were many dedicated African American entertainers and athletes that lent their talents and energies to the struggle for New Orleans’ rebirth.
- NBA star, Chris Paul’s CP3 Foundation “After School Zone” sponsored by Chase Bank. (Nolayouth.org). The program provides strong, positive relationships between students and instructors through a cache of challenging and stimulating unconventional activities, such as yoga, Visual Arts and International cooking, according to Blackgivesback.com.
- Soledad O’Brien, founder of the Soledad O’Brien and Brad Raymond Starfish Foundation. (Starfishscholars.org) This foundation was started by Soledad O’Brien and her husband, Brad Raymond in New Orleans and provides scholarships to help young women from in-need communities. “They quietly awarded scholarships from their own pockets sponsoring fifteen scholars and spending tens of thousands of dollars for the past several years following hurricane Katrina,” according to Blackgivesback.com.
- Oprah Winfrey, founder of Oprah’s Angel Network. (Oprahsangelnetwork.org). Oprah’s charity foundation is dedicated to encouraging people around the world to make a difference in the lives of others, according to Looktothestars.org. Through her charity, she has donated $1 million dollars in aid to Katrina victims.
Despite all the wonderful work and vast amounts of public funds, the city’s African American population is still living in the shadows of a growing city that is slowly becoming more gentrified.
According to DemocracyNow.org, the number of Blacks in the city has plunged by nearly 100,000 since the storm. The income gap, according to the Urban League, has increased between Blacks and Whites by 37 percent since 2005 and in 2013, the median income for Black families was at a staggering $25,000, while White families earned well over $60,000. Many homes in the Black neighborhoods still stand abandoned.
Ultimately, it’s the city that makes the decisions to put those all those dollars and cents to work for its people. What do you think?
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