NEW ORLEANS — In the special report WGNO Forward: Race in Our City, WGNO’s Tamica Lee and LBJ explore race and racism in our city, asking the experts where we are, how we got here, and what we can realistically do to make it better.
In Part 1 of this episode of WGNO Forward: Race in Our City, the president of the new Krewe of Themis, Kimya Holmes, explains why social justice was behind her decision to help form a new all-women carnival krewe.
“We did not start out to found a new krewe,” expains Holmes. “It started out as more of a social justice organization.”
Themis came about after several women left another krewe because those women wanted to take a stronger anti-racist stance.
“It’s a wonderful thing for the city. It’s a wonderful thing for me to able to tell my daughter: I saw something wrong. I took a stand,” says Holmes.
In Part 2 of the episode, LBJ interviews community organizer Malcolm Suber. He was one of the leaders of the movement to remove local monuments to the Confederacy. He has been active in social justice for more than 50 years.
“The movement today is much broader and deeper than it has been,” says Suber. “And, so, we are in a period where we can actually predict there’s going to be some monumental change.”
In Part 3, Tamica speaks with Susan Henry, the president and CEO of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra about the effect of the pandemic on musicians.
“The life of musicians right now is really difficult,” says Henry. “The whole gig economy is suffering right now, I would say musicians particularly, because they can’t go out–like Uber drivers right now are back to work. Some restaurants are open.”
And, in Part 4, LBJ talks to radio host Oliver Thomas about what he sees going on in the community. Thomas hosts “The Good Morning Show” on WBOK 1230AM, which gives the Black community a voice on the airwaves.
“We didn’t get it right. We haven’t gotten it right,” says Thomas. “It’s a lot deeper than COVID-19 or coronavirus.”
Thomas was a city councilman in New Orleans and says Black politicians over time could have been more strategic and intentional about helping their own.
“We needed to be more intentional about our social and economic status,” Thomas says. “Not just being elected to office. But, being elected to office and what do you actually control? What do you have access to? What policies can you change? And, it is obvious that economically and socially–and now we are learning in terms of the heath disparities–that we have not done a good job of our being intentional in those areas.”
You can this full episode and all espisodes of WGNO Forward: Race in Our City on WGNO and WGNO.com.