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Watch & React: Turkey Creek

While investigating the state of Katrina recovery along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, JOURNAL producer William Brangham met a local community activist named Derrick Evans. For several years, Evans has been trying to protect his hometown community -- the historic black settlement of Turkey Creek, Mississippi. Filmmaker Leah Mahan has been following Derrick Evans and the story of the fight to save Turkey Creek for several years.

The video clip above is an excerpt from Mahan's documentary, which is still in production. The clip begins in 2001 and is an introduction to the story of how this citizens' movement began when Turkey Creek's historic cemetery was bulldozed to build an apartment complex. Now, in the aftermath of Katrina, Turkey Creek has joined dozens of other communities along the Gulf Coast to push for an equitable recovery. To find out more about Leah Mahan's film, please visit

We invite you to respond by commenting below.


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Dear Mr. Moyer,

I watched your story covering the “Recovery Gone Wrong” in response to hurricane Katrina posted on the website below:
The covering of the rehabilitation efforts in Mississippi was both an informative and eye-opening documentary. I have heard first hand the terrible environment that is left in Mississippi is far worse than outsiders hope to imagine. I have had numerous friends volunteer their time during their spring breaks to help rebuild homes for those who are desperately in need. It truly is a shame that the efforts of the government are more focused on generating future revenue for themselves and the state rather than to fix and help those who are in dire need in the present.
The fact that the Governor requested freedom from control over how to allocate funds should have set off a few more alarms in Washington. It is a crime that there are still families living below the poverty level in trailers while $600 million is being pulled from the housing budget to be spent on rebuilding the ports of Mississippi. One can argue that there is the need for a safe port—however the amount being spent on the ports should not be pulled away from the housing budget where every dollar is needed. They claim jobs will be made, but what they need to do first is bring the residents of the state who have contributed to the state’s local economy and bring them up to a fully functional level. Give them the ability to afford homes to come home to after these “new jobs” are created.
I think that it is preposterous that only $20,000 was given to residents in the beginnings of the rehabilitation efforts in order to rebuild lives and homes. That amount is nowhere near sufficient for the amount of damage repair and recuperation costs incurred by the residents. I personally would like to see the Governor’s house, see how he is living. Then, I would like to have him spend a month in a trailer that 14,000 families have been living in for the past 2 years. It is a shame that the most affluent were given first dibs on the money given out in phase one of the rehabilitation program. I hope that with the new election drawing nearer that the candidates elected will focus on helping those who really need it. The casinos and condominiums are only help to hide what is truly a recovery gone wrong in Mississippi.


Kristin N. Kropp
Millersville University

I don't intend to leave a long diatribe regarding the FCC's idea to
further allow the private sector to consolidate medias, but I will
just say, as a fellow U.S. citizen committed to the idea of
freedom of information, we all must ensure our public communications
maintain as much diversity as possible. I agree that the current proposal
to allow media companies to purchase multiple forms of media in a
locale is a mistake. Right now, I live in China and witness first-hand
how a state-run media operation is dangerously uniform and frankly
corrupt. To get media to cover a newsworthy event, you must pay a
bribe, it's that simple. There is no competition, and therefore
incentive, that forces media to be creative in their coverage. In the
U.S., the FCC Chairman's argument is to let the airwaves be 'less
regulated' and more subject to the free market. However, by allowing
over-consolidation, the effect of information control is just as much
a risk whether it be through the private sector or by a government
(like China). I see the dire results of such hegemony of information
in China and believe the Chairman's idea would exacerbate this risk
for the U.S. We need to work to further create diversity in the
media, rather than to streamline it.

I am sickened by what so many take for granted, all out greed and moral corruption in our local, state and federal government.
I have heard too often now how useless it is to stop our elected officials from stealing the resources needed so the non-elected people can help one another in this collaboration we call a city, or a state or a nation.
When so many people work together to support the existance of a community and then a small group of people can undo that work with a pen stroke or a word, is it any wonder we feel powerless in many of our efforts?
consolidated power in local, state and national government keeps the majority of people from being empowered with the resources they need to responsibly help one another in a cooperative living style.
In fact we are told that if we were to take these resources and place them in the hands of the people they would be squandered in greed and ignorance. Now reflect on the way the local, state and federal government has handled resources for the Katrina hurricane. Who do we see squandering resources from a place of greed and ignorance?

Bravo! At least there is one Journalist with courage left in America. Maybe with the help of the 12 patriots left you can overturn the New World Order and restore democracy to the U.S.

I'm from the Katrina Coast and was heartened and surprised to see the coverage of the money and land grab in the aftermath of Katrina. You must have been reading the script in my heart.

Maybe soon, you will cover the true bottom line issue in America; the New World Order's push to take over the world and abolish the U.S. Constitution and Government, T-R-E-A-S-O-N! A video on Youtube called Octopus911 is a great place to start. This executed conspiracy has many arms and almost everything that has mainstream, middle-class and poor Americans up in arms is part of this "octopus".

One of the big issues is whether "Bible Believing" Christians believe that the "Tribulation" and destruction of the Revelations prophecy are avoidable or inevitable. This would explain their apathy and failure to act in defense of their country against the New World Order's operations.

A firm understanding of the New World Order's plans; is like a road map, explaining all the apparent "blunders" of this administration, its accomplice Congress and media monopoly news suppression. I would love to see a Moyers' Journal program on "What can be done" to oppose the Beast of the New World Order.

"We wrestle not against flesh and ; but against principalities, and powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places."

On a few other great Moyers' Journal recent topics...
The solution to the immigration problem is simple; tie a new REASONABLE minimum wage to the actual cost of decent living. Arrest anyone who pays anyone less than that whether they are illegal immigrant or not. Then you can let anyone you want into the country.

The rich wont want them here anymore because they can't get richer hiring them and the poor and middle-class wont be upset about them taking all the low paying jobs for slave wages. The health and welfare system wont be overloaded by them and they will stay home because all their potential criminal employers will be in jail where they belong for creating the problem out of their greed.

While you're about fixing things; removing the federal reserve system would fix a million things. Our government would start printing its own money instead of illegally borrowing it from a private bank who created it with a pen entry in a book then LOANED it to our government for operating expenses; who taxed us to pay back the INTEREST on the loan. This New World Order scam is obvious insanity to any thinking person. I suppose that is why no one has ever told the American Public that it is going on and that they could eliminate all income taxes and totally fund every useful project by this single sane action.

Michael Couch
910 DeKalb Ave. 4B
Brooklyn, NY 11221

Your programs regarding Katrina have all been great. However, neither your
program nor any other I have ever seen have ever addressed two very
important subjects. I guess that because I was educated as a Nuclear
Physicist, I tend to look at things very analytically and carefully, but I
am truly amazed that I have never been able to get anyone interested in
either of these during the past two and a half years!

(1) There will certainly be thousands of deaths IN the FEMA trailers
whenever the next hurricane hits. Without doubt! In the Midwest, ALL
mobile homes are REQUIRED to have cables attached to earth anchors, to keep
mobile homes from being carried away by any tornado. I believe your program
mentioned that there are still 18,000 FEMA trailers on the Gulf Coast? I
have never seen any photos where even ONE of them was properly anchored
down! That means that however many people happen to be in those 18,000
trailers when they go airborne in a hurricane, will all certainly die. FEMA
claims to have "improved itself" since Katrina, but this still looks like
gross incompetence to me! Thousands of people are certain to die, more than
died in Katrina, DIRECTLY as a result of FEMAs efforts! Wow!

(2) I first contacted dozens of agencies THE DAY AFTER KATRINA about this,
and many times since. It is well known that there are apparently around
1500 people who are still considered "missing". I tried to describe where
many of them probably are. Just prior to Katrina, news broadcasts showed
the bumper-to-bumper traffic trying to leave New Orleans, specifically on
I-10. A few hours later, after Katrina hit, news broadcasts showed that
much of a mile of I-10 was simply gone! There is NO doubt in my mind that
any vehicles on that causeway when Katrina hit would certainly have been
(laterally) blown off the bridges. A mile of bumper-to-bumper traffic is
around 170 vehicles per lane. It seems like simple math to see that there
were likely between 1000 and 2000 people who were on that causeway at the
moment Katrina hit. Their bodies should still all be within the vehicles,
in the water within a few hundred feet of the highway location. The
families of the missing people deserve to have SOMEONE actually look in that
water for all the vehicles that must be there, and the bodies.

Carl Johnson

I don't think federal funds should go to casino operators even if it is the only business in southern Mississippi. I do hope they have more than flood insurance (and not from my company).

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