Thursday, May 5, 2011
Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Lanesha lives with Mama Ya-Ya in New Orleans' Ninth Ward. Both Lanesha and Mama Ya-Ya have second sight. Lanesha can see ghosts all around her, including the ghost of her mother who died when she was born. Mama Ya-Ya is able to see the future. Despite being shunned by others who are frightened of their abilities, the two are very happy together. But Mama Ya-Ya is worried by some dreams she has had about hurricane Katrina that is coming towards New Orleans. Her dreams tell her that they will survive the hurricane but that something is still wrong and dangerous, she just can't tell what it is. Lanesha is frightened and wants to follow the order to evacuate but they don't have enough money to leave their home. This story is based on the real devastation of New Orleans after hurricane Katrina and the flooding of the Ninth Ward after the levees broke. Even though I knew what was coming I found myself drawn into the dread and worry leading up to the hurricane making landfall and the horror of the flooding.