Original air date: July 31, 2010

New Orleans: Been in the Storm Too Long

For the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Tavis Smiley Reports visited New Orleans, capturing the mood and spirit of the city’s courageous residents five years after the levees failed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Tavis reflects: “We see two sides of the city—the tourist areas that have been redeveloped with federal funds, and the devastated neighborhoods where everyday people have taken it upon themselves to get their homes rebuilt, their schools reopened, and their lives back.”

For the program, Tavis reunited with Academy Award-winning director Jonathan Demme, who spent five years chronicling the people of New Orleans as they struggled to recover and rebuild their city.

Episode Expanded

Lisa P. Jackson--the first African American administrator of the EPA--was born in Pennsylvania, but grew up in New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward, where she was first in her class at St. Mary's Dominican High School and graduated summa cum laude from Tulane University's School of Chemical Engineering. (Photo: Getty Images)
Slide Show
You may know New Orleans natives like the Neville Brothers and famous chefs like Emeril Lagasse and John Besh--all of whom have ties to New Orleans. But, have you heard of these notable folks from the Big Easy?
Dr. Peter Scharf (Photo: George Long)
Guest Blog
More than 800 people have been murdered in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina; many of the victims, young African American males. Many, if not all, of these killings could have been averted.
Special Feature
Ruby Bridges was one of many Black students who sought an education in all-white schools. Her story, therefore, really begins in the 19th century, when Blacks weren't yet free.
Academy Award-winning director Jonathan Demme shoots footage of Musicians' Village. The community consists of 72 single-family homes, five senior-friendly duplexes, a park and the 17,800 square-foot Ellis Marsalis Center for Music.
Slide Show
Tavis and Academy Award-winning director Jonathan Demme traveled to New Orleans to document the city's progress and ongoing struggles, five years after Hurricane Katrina and the levee breech. They talked to New Orleans residents, students, elected officials, artists, business owners, teachers and activists.
Guest Blog
Daniel Wolff, writer/co-producer of this third primetime special, addresses "Katrina fatigue." He says: "The issues raised by the event we call 'Katrina' are as old as the nation. Do we have civil rights fatigue?"
New Orleans native and Hurricane Katrina survivor Kyrah Julian expresses her anger and frustration with a city that was not focused on some of the poorest New Orleans neighborhoods in need of the most help.
Jonathan Demme interviewed New Orleans natives and Hurricane Katrina survivors Herreast Harrison and her daughter Cherice Harrison-Nelson in this 2006 clip from The Right to Return: New Home Movies from the Lower 9th Ward.
Web Exclusive
Tavis shares his thoughts on education in America--particularly for African Americans--after his interview with New Orleans resident Ruby Bridges, whom he interviewed at the William Frantz Public School.
Web Exclusive
Tavis shares his thoughts on some of his conversations with New Orleans residents and reveals why a couple of interviews choked him up.
Web Exclusive
Tavis shares his thoughts on New Orleans native and Hurricane Katrina survivor Herreast Harrison. He and Jonathan Demme have chronicled Harrison's struggle to rebuild her home since 2007.
World-renowned musician and New Orleans native Branford Marsalis tells Tavis about Musicians' Village--a post-Katrina community rebuilding project in New Orleans' Upper Ninth Ward created by Marsalis and fellow New Orleans native, Harry Connick, Jr., to provide a physical and spiritual home for multiple generations of musicians.
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