Katrina: The Debris // The R Word: Resilience

Aug 24, 2015

Well, we’ve made it. Almost. It’s been a long, hot summer and this is our last episode as we come up on the tenth anniversary of Katrina.

The city is abuzz with journalists and experts and NGOs and politicians. We thought we’d use this last bit of The Debris to explore a word they’re all using to talk about New Orleans: resilience.

Resilience is the buzzword of this Katrina-versary. "New Orleans is so resilient... her people are so resilient." That wasn’t such a popular word in 2005. So, where did it come from? We talk to ecologist Josh Lewis about the etymology of the word "resilience" as we've come to use it in reference to post-Katrina New Orleans. 

Writer and teacher Michael Patrick Welch interviews his current group of young summer camp students about what it's like to know the Katrina experience second-hand, through stories of struggle (and resilience) passed down from their parents. 

Parkway owner Jay Nix and his family worked tirelessly to rebuild and reopen Mid City's most famous poboy spot.
Credit Jesse Hardman

Plus, we hear from Parkway Bakery and Tavern owner Jay Nix about what it's like to rebuild a neighborhood institution and why you can always fall back on a sandwich. 

And, finally, host Eve Troeh takes a look at the rebirth of second line culture in New Orleans. This year, local hip hop radio DJ Wild Wayne will host the tenth annual Katrina March and Second Line to commemorate the disaster and call for continued revitalization of the Lower 9th Ward.