Voices from the Gulf

Showing stories 21 through 30 of 748 total stories.

The Plateau section of the Africatown community is often referred to as "Africatown's Bedroom Community.” As the name suggests, the Plateau neighborhood's elevation is higher than any other area of the community. Africatown is surrounded on three sides by water. To the north is Hog Bayou, on the east is the Mobile River and to the south is the Three Mile Creek.

With the kids out of school and things slow for the holidays, I have been using the opportunity to get myself better organized a bit for the year to come. I have amassed quite the collection of business cards, papers, reports – bills too, lol – over the last five years of this journey, and it has been both daunting and liberating to weed out that which has been uselessly taking up space in my life.

Since 2010, I've followed the development of Margaret Brown’s documentary The Great Invisible, which explores the BP disaster with great care, artistry and respect through the eyes of people on many sides of the issues, from survivors of the rig explosion to unemployed seafood workers and representatives of government and industry.

The historical value of Africatown's Hog Bayou was carved in stone long before the Oil Barons of the world discovered Africatown's valuable wetlands. Africatown's Hog Bayou will forever be known as the place in Mobile where the "African" slaves taught the "American" slaves how to feed themselves and their loved ones after slavery had ended. The last recorded shipment of slaves to arrive in America landed aboard the slave ship Clotilde in 1860. The Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863, freeing all slaves.

Brandon Ballengée wears many hats. And, as a visual artist, biologist and environmental activist, he often wears them simultaneously.

According to his website, he, “creates transdisciplinary artworks inspired from his ecological field and laboratory research.”

As Ballengée explains, “I’m kind of a strange hybrid mix between an artist and a biologist.”

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.

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