Voices from the Gulf

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Back in the 60's I could always tell when election time was near. First, city equipment would show up to clean the streets and clear out vacant lots. Then the politician would make an appearance at the Elks and buy a round of drinks for everyone in the place. The next day he would sponsor a chicken and fish fry for the community. At the height of the community outing he would make a speech. That speech would always promise everything but deliver nothing.

Undeterred by the blazing sun and high humidity of a mid-August afternoon in Biloxi, Mississippi, Tuat Nguyen and Bien Do moved nimbly around their shrimp boat, making last-minute preparations to leave for Lake Borgne, where the Louisiana shrimp season would open in a few days.

Originally Posted on Life Support Project. “My husband died of renal failure, my neighbor died of renal failure, my other neighbor behind me died of cancer. The lady over there, her granddaughter’s six months pregnant, and was just diagnosed with breast cancer. They live right here at the pit.”

We’re standing in the parking lot of the Marie K. Young Community Center in the Wedgewood community of Pensacola, Florida, a quiet African-American neighborhood.

On Wednesday, advocates and neighbors protested the plan to build a new school on the site of the former Booker T. Washington High, because of concerns over toxic contamination. The site was home to the Silver City / Clio Street Dump from the 1890s through the 1930s.

My city of Mobile, Alabama is a charming and picturesque Southern community. With its large antebellum homes and vast array of tall pine trees and massive oak trees overhanging Springhill Avenue, Mobile is a city that can rival any Southern city for beauty and scenery. However, the creative minds of the people of Mobile are one of the unique characteristics that elevate the city of Mobile above other Southern cities.

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