There will not be a New Orleans if there are no New Orleanians

It’s something soulful bout being from & living in New Orleans even with all the turmoil of day-to-day life here, politics, crime and this list goes, there’s just about nothing that can kill the spirit of my people here. Call it resilience or whatever, one thing I know it’s rooted in us to not only survived, but to overcome whatever evils that come up against us.


The locals define what New Orleans means to so many, you can’t have one without the other. If I had to point out a negative about New Orleans, it would be the fear of losing New Orleans with the loss of our people. Since Katrina the population of true natives, true locals born and raised in New Orleans has significantly decreased and with all the new changes, gentrification it will decrease more.

My return to my home town landed me amongst others with the same heart as mines, who left and came back, because of the love for their home town. I’m thankful that my sister-in-law thought of me when her mother-in-law had an opening in a neighborhood where the culture is prominent. I love living  in a neighborhood that’s trying to hold on to it takes a village mentality I grew up with .

My neighbors are an extended family , we actually know each other, well with the exception of a few transplants that have relocated here. It feels like you have to force a hello out of them. You would think that they researched the culture here prior to moving and found out that all New Orleans people speak to everyone. It’s common knowledge here to acknowledge each other when you pass by them where ever you are, bus, crossing the street, at the store, sitting on the porch, you speak. Maybe I should host a “How to live with New Orleans Natives, when you are a transplant” class..


Everyone looks out for each other, we all are involved and respected by all the kids in our neighborhood and know all f them by name. I can’t walk to my door without an adult telling me how they interacted with my children on any given day. The kids refer to all adults as Ms/Mrs/Mr or Auntie and Uncle, just as the days of yesterday. Our black men are always spoke of in a negative light here, the media seems to show the small percentage who are out in New Orleans streets committing crimes.  Never reporting on the good that they do within the community. There are so many men in my neighborhood as well as those who come in to it, who hold themselves accountable for not only their children, but all children who they make contact with. On a daily I witness Black men encouraging, mentoring, playing, talking to the youth. Our men also assist single and widow women in our community with their issues around the home, such as plumbing as well as just offering a hand with bringing the groceries in. We all family here, it’s awesome.


The people in my neighborhood and neighborhoods represent New Orleans culture to the fullest. New Orleans needs us and I hope the big people with the money and power see this and soon. I see transplants taking over blocks in urban neighborhoods at one time they refused to come visit when they were on vacations and making it unaffordable for those who work to make New Orleans what she is. How can this be? The very person that works in the tourism industry can not afford to live in New Orleans.. The projects that were downtown prior to Katrina have been turn into beautiful luxury condos, leaving thousands of New Orleans unable to return.

ESPN 10 Years After Katrina


Then there’s the Airbnb…OMG, I believe it’s a trap, knowing that locals can not afford to stay in the neighborhoods they know as home this is a way to supplement their income,  but its a marketing trap to see just how many will do it then present thrm with a buyout option.

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New Orleans, home to fewer than 400,000 people, has always been a tourist town, and locals have long complained that throngs of out-of-towners endanger the city’s authenticity. But Airbnb and other short-term rentals threaten that authenticity in a new way. Parts of the city were already gentrifying when Airbnb started to grow a few years ago, but the rise of short-term rentals appears to have accelerated that process.



This new kind of Airbnb-powered gentrification comes with all the downsides of traditional gentrification — home prices and rents are going up, lower-income residents and people of color are moving out — but with fewer upsides. Tourism and gentrification typically bring cleaner streets and less crime, but tourists don’t stick around to clean up the neighborhood, vote in local elections or lobby for better schools.



The locals are New Orleans, the world must know that. There’s so much good here, besides Bourbon St and Mardi Be Gras. The media scares the world, the very tourist who love New Orleans to not come where the locals are. We, the locals, where we live is labeled as “unsafe.” If it was so unsafe why are people relocating here in masses? Maybe, the catch is we will be gone and I wonder how much of New Orleans experience will the transplants have then.


No one can come here to make New Orleans what it is, it’s the people here who make New Orleans alive, a soul, a place that’s unlike any other in the world. New Orleans is known as a place to go to revive the spirit, comfort and heal the heart, mind, body and soul. We need to keep her alive for all of us. As I mentioned before I believe New Orleans has the soul of a woman given all that it’s land has given birth to and we are responsible for ensuring that her seeds, her children can remain in her bosom. Come met us, come get a po-boy from the local store, have a conversation with your housekeeper, server and if you can’t do that just say hi when they greet you. All it takes is for a tourist to make a connection with a local to see the direct source of “Who” makes them return to New Orleans. ⚜

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A native of New Orleans, who left her beloved New Orleans to spend twenty years of living in the land of Minnesota Not So Nice. Minnesota was full of opportunities but would learn that the soul of the state and the people who made it was just as icy cold as the temperatures. After the years and my 40th birthday flew by, I decided it was time to pack up my youngest child and come back to my roots, my birthplace the city that not only birthed me but gave me life. I would not be who I am without my New Orleans beginnings. I am all things that would challenge the belief of growing up in New Orleans. I was a 16yr old teen mother of a premature baby born with a severe medical disability. And only With the help of my mother, was it possible for me to BE! I was able to endure and survive the obstacles laid before my child and me. In a city that was built by my family, but did not allow for us to reap the benefits I overcame. Charity Hospital was my second home — a building filled with miracle workers who made it possible for my daughter to have life. I have lived a life of rainy days with peeks of sunshine, that are my children, including those not of my womb. I'm the proud mother of three and a grandmother of three. My dream was to live the life of the nursery rhyme of ”The Old Lady Who lived in a shoe,” and for the most part, I did. I cared for several children over the years as a special needs foster parent. I would learn that my love was not enough for some children, but I loved them through their pain. I'm not sure if I ever had a case of true love or came close to what love looks like on television, but I had my share of men and the mirage of love. I survived two abusive marriages. Though I longed to return to New Orleans on a daily bases, I must admit my move was one of the best decisions made for me. I am a college graduate; I was a successful entrepreneur. I coowned a soul food restaurant and catering company in Minnesota for 12 years. I developed the talent of creating custom cakes after the murder of my beloved cousin Melvin Paul. He survived Katrina only to go to Minneapolis six months later to be murdered over a parking spot dispute. But with the challenge of creating a simple wedding cake, I was able to find healing. I created the House of Cakes in honor of him. Minnesota life had me pretty materialistic. I worked to the point I do not remember much, but work and handing my children love money. I thought by having the big house on the hill, a husband, having a family, the ultimate provider and being involved in all things that matter, plus having the funds to match would cure me of what I was told was a generational curse of lack of everything from money, love to even self-love. But for the most part, that life poisoned my heart and soul. I was blinded by visions fed to me by the media. I was told I wasn't anything unless I was better than the Jones's. I lived being ok with a broken, bleeding heart. Life like this did not exist in my family while living in New Orleans from what I viewed with my eyes and soul. We may not have had all the things I acquired over the years, but we were happy, we were together. Family outside of New Orleans wasn't family anymore. We lived separate lives and had awkward moments when we bumped into each other in public. I hated living in Minnesota even though life their helped me in so many ways. I felt deep down the only way to repair it was to get back to my roots, my soul, my home, myself, my New Orleans. I'm here, and I love it. Even being in the so-called Blighted Area of New Orleans and not having all the financial and material security, I'm happy. I am determined that She, yes, New Orleans is a woman is just like me; together, we will overcome and will rise from all that tried to kill our spirit. Nothing like starting from the bottom and making your way back up!. I just know in my heart that New Orleans will provide for me. There's a bank account with funds in it owed to me by way of back pay for my ancestors. And I will receive my inheritance, and I will continue the traditions and customs of the old to keep the heartbeat of New Orleans beating. I'm down in the boot, living the life that feels right to me awaiting my destiny...

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