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On New Orleans Today and the Genius of Spike Lee

On this second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina,

here's a telling post from blogger Cynthia Joyce, who writes from New Orleans. If you read though her blog, you get a fleshed out perspective of what it's like to be in New Orleans post-Katrina.

Also, HBO has been rebroadcasting Spike Lee's documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts and I will tell you, it is extraordinary storytelling.

There's an interesting interview with Lee on the HBO site, where he talks about the making of the film. When asked why he thought the government responded the way they did during Katrina, Lee responds:

Well, I would just say, what Kanye West expressed, that George Bush doesn't care about black people. Many people think it had nothing to do with race, it had more to do with class. You have a large population who happened to be poor, and if they did vote they didn't vote Republican anyway. Everybody was on vacation. Ms. Rice was buying Ferragamo shoes on Madison Avenue while people were drowning, then went to see Spamalot. Cheney was on vacation. Bush was on vacation, and even when the President cut short his vacation, he did not fly directly to New Orleans. He did not fly directly to the Gulf region. He had the pilot of Air Force One do a fly-over.

Enough said. I was talking about the documentary with my editor and co-worker, Nathan Gibbs, and he brought up a good point: who will pick up the torch when it comes time for Lee to pass it on? Let me clarify, Lee is quite young and is surely not going to stop making films any time soon. But, who else today is telling stories of the black experience with the same political and historical perspective? It seems hip hop and rap have taken over the national dialog when it comes to documenting the black experience. Do you agree? Is that enough? Do we need more Spike Lee's out there?