New Orleans I was a couple of minutes late and walked into a speech by long time New Orleans community leader Beulah Laboistrie’s remarks about her decades of leadership in ACORN and now A Community Voice, which has arisen from the ashes of the organization in Louisiana, so I was looking sidelong at the wide grins of 50 local leaders and friends of the organization. The spirit was powerful in the room as they announced an award named after long time leaders Gerri Bell, dead now several decades but a legend in that room and represented by her daughter and son, Beulah Laboistrie, who mentioned she would be 90 this year, and Lanny Roy from Lake Charles, who has been a rock in southwest Louisiana.
Greetings were read from ACORN Canada and ACORN International. Mildred Edmond, President of Local 100 of the United Labor Unions, was there and in the thick of the celebration. I wore my new “Tenants Vote” t-shirt from Toronto ACORN with its big maple leaf in the middle of their design of the ACORN button, which elicited comments and appreciation from many of the leaders in the room.
New OrleansThe post-Katrina New Orleans is a wild and exciting place. The appearance of “guerrilla haikus” is a good example. The poetry may not be great shakes but the spirit soars.
An anonymous mother, who teaches English, at a local university, and her former Iraq war veteran photographer daughter, reclaim political signs, get friends and others to contribute haikus, and then in the dead of night three or four times over the last year have staked them down on neutral grounds like the classic Esplanade Avenue, which runs from the River along the French Quarter and ends at City Park. I love the mother-daughter conspiracy and bonding of it more than the poems.
Chris Rose, an columnist for the Times-Picayune, wrote about this dynamic duo with their little face and eye masks, and it was a great “pick me up” for a long slog of a week after a holiday. Check it out here: