Blog  American South: Visiting the Lower Ninth Ward

American South: Visiting the Lower Ninth Ward

By Maddie Sherman, Mitzvah Corps American South 2018 Participant

There is a drastic difference between various neighborhoods in New Orleans, specifically between the Garden District and the Lower Ninth Ward. While driving through the Garden District in New Orleans, we saw beautiful homes with cast iron embellishments and tall pillars. Streets lined with exuberant pastel colored houses add to the overall charm of the neighborhood. Residents walk their dogs and go for bike rides through the bustling area.

In contrast, our group also had the opportunity to visit the Lower Ninth Ward, just outside of the French Quarter and learn about how this neighborhood was severely shattered after Hurricane Katrina. Isaac, our tour guide, said, “Many people say the damage was caused by a natural disaster, however residents of the Lower Ninth say the faulty levees caused a man-made tragedy.” The government knew the wall was not going to prevent flooding, but they did not do anything about it. After being devastated by Hurricane Katrina, racial inequality has played a major role throughout the rebuilding of The Lower Ninth Ward.

Seeing the differences between the two neighborhoods and the inequity of their resources made me realize that the service work we are doing in New Orleans is extremely important and  because of that,I have found it to be very rewarding!