Friday, January 3, 2014

Community, Culture and Continuity

The Future Needs Us
by Rebecca Solnit


The arc of justice is long. It travels through New Orleans, the city I’ve returned to again and again since Hurricane Katrina. It’s been my way of trying to understand not just disaster, but community, culture, and continuity, three things that city possesses as no place else in the nation. Hip-hop comes most directly from the South Bronx, but if you look at the 1970s founders of that genre of popular music, you see that some of the key figures were Caribbean, and if you look at their formative music, it included the ska and reggae that were infused with the influence of New Orleans. (In addition, that city’s native son and major jazz figure, Donald Harrison, Jr., was a mentor to seminal New York City rapper Notorious B.I.G.) If you look at New Orleans, what you see is an astonishing example of the survival of culture—and of the culture of survival. More>>