Under Louisiana’s current law, exonerated people must apply for compensation from the state for wrongful imprisonment. The process may take years, and even if granted, wrongly convicted people receive only $25,000 a year with a cap of 10 years, and as of 2019, they will also get a one-time payment of $80,000 in loss of life opportunity.
With its traditional jazz funerals, second lines and Black Masking Mardi Gras Indian ceremonies, New Orleans is a city that knows how to pay tribute to its dead. Cultural societies incorporate tributes to their members who have passed away into their Carnival season parades, but as the pandemic stretched into Mardi Gras 2021, clubs have had to confront the fact that some of those tributes may not happen until 2022.
The official line from the city has been that the holiday is “not canceled,” “just different” and Mayor LaToya Cantrell has actively welcomed visitors. At the same time, the city has instructed locals to celebrate the season at home with their immediate families. Many see the city’s messaging as evidence of dangerous deference to tourists. This tension predates the pandemic and isn’t unique to Mardi Gras, but the collision of the two in 2021 has raised the stakes and an outcry.
At its last meeting in 2020, New Orleans City Council passed the C.R.O.W.N. Act Ordinance, which prohibits race-based hair discrimination. “Black women are not a monolith, but our hair and the experiences, the prejudice that we experience, is a unified issue, regardless of age, demographics, geography [and] socioeconomic status.”
In 2016, Black women received 61 percent of all abortions provided in Louisiana. While Black advocates on both sides of the abortion debate say they consider systemic racism and the deep-rooted socio-economic differences that may lead Black women to choose abortion more than white women, they approached these societal problems in fundamentally different ways.
A pesar de la dramática disminución de detenidos, COVID-19 sigue extendiéndose en los centros de detención. Y mientras la pandemia entra en su sexto mes, las alegaciones del brote de Pine Prairie este verano muestran que una agencia aún está luchando por hacer cumplir las precauciones de seguridad más básicas.
Despite the dramatic decline in detainees, COVID-19 is still spreading in detention centers. And as the pandemic enters its sixth month, the allegations of Pine Prairie’s outbreak this summer show an agency still floundering to enforce even the most basic safety precautions.
When Baton Rouge activist Gary Chambers Jr. posted a cell phone video on his Facebook page of a police officer kneeling on what appeared to be a Black teenager’s neck, Louisiana’s state capital braced for the worst.
Property tax giveaways to oil companies and entrenched poverty around Louisiana refineries help tell the story of race and disease in an American energy hub at a time when the coronavirus is surging across the South. The virus's effect on oil-rich Louisiana is the story of race, poverty and disease. In Shreveport, where some of the ugliest episodes of Jim Crow-era violence and redlining played out, COVID-19 also tells a story of sustained community disinvestment.
For the last two months, we’ve been checking in with a few high school students across the New Orleans area. In audio diaries and in emails, they talked about missing out on milestones, new responsibilities at home, when and how change will come, and more.