GET THE SERIES, RACISM IN AMERICAN INSTITUTIONS AT
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Series Forward in How Do Hurricane Katrina’s Winds Blow? Racism in 21st Century New Orleans:
By Brian D. Behnken, Series Editor – Iowa State University, Ames Iowa
The following excerpts may not be reproduced without the express written consent of the publisher, ABC-CLIO.
How Do Hurricane Katrina’s Winds Blow? is the second book to be published in Praeger Publisher’s new series, Racism in American Institutions (RAI). The RAI series examines the ways in which racism has become, and remains, a part of the fabric of many American institutions. For example, while the United States may have done away with overtly racist acts such as extralegal lynching, racism still affects many of America’s established institutions from public schools to corporate offices. Schools may not be legally segregated: and, yet, many districts are not integrated. Prisons are another example, when one considers the racist policies within the legal and penal systems that account for so many people of color behind bars. This open-ended series of one-volume works examines the problem of racism in established American institutions. Each book in the RAI Series traces the prevalence of racism within a particular institution throughout the history of the United States and explores the problem in that institution today, looking at ways in which the institution has attempted to rectify racism, but also the ways in which it has not.
Liza Lugo’s book on Hurricane Katrina is perfectly suited for the RAI Series. As many Americans came to realize, Katrina not only destroyed levees, flooded neighborhoods, and took many lives, the storm revealed seemingly hidden – although upon close scrutiny easily identifiable – contemporary discriminatory patterns and practices. Lugo details the impact that Katrina had on New Orleans by exploring the historical racist systems that facilitated the storm’s devastating impact on the city and its citizens. Thus, the storm ripped away a veneer of civility and progress in New Orleans and left in its wake the poverty, racism, and inequality that was present just beneath the surface. Lugo clearly shows that many of the circumstances that led to the storm’s most debilitating impacts had a very long history, one that could be summed up in one of the city’s most famous nicknames: New Orleans, the City That Care Forgot. That nickname originated in the 1930s, but it could as easily have been written in the 1870s or 1880s, or more recently in the 1980s, 1990s, or early 21st Century. As such, racism in the city’s urban politics, government, employment, and housing, as well as its relationship to the state of Louisiana, the Gulf South, and the United States as a whole, became institutionalized in the late 19th and throughout the 20th Century.
Liza Lugo is perfectly suited to write this book. An attorney by training, she has studied American racism and African American history for the past decade. Her education gives How Do Hurricane Katrina’s Winds Blow? an authoritatively legalistic perspective, but Lugo’s story goes well beyond the law. Her book is a social, legal, and historical study of not just New Orleans, not just Katrina, but of the African-American lived perspective throughout U.S. history.
ABC-CLIO (c) 2014.
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