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Showdown in Desire portrays the Black Panther Party in New Orleans in 1970, a year that included a shootout with the police on Piety Street, the creation of survival programs, and the daylong standoff between the Panthers and the police in the Desire housing development. Through interviews with Malik Rahim, the Panther; Robert H. King, Panther and member of the Angola 3; Larry Preston Williams, the black policeman; Moon Landrieu, the mayor; Henry Faggen, the Desire resident; Robert Glass, the white lawyer; Jerome LeDoux, the black priest; William Barnwell, the white priest; and many others, Orissa Arend tells a nuanced story that unfolds amid guns, tear gas, desperate poverty, oppression, and inflammatory rhetoric to capture the palpable spirit of rebellion, resistance, and revolution of an incendiary summer in New Orleans.
Where y'at? In New Orleans, this simple question can yield hundreds of answers. People on the same block might say that they live in Pigeon Town, Pension Town or Carrollton, but they have surely all danced together at the neighborhood's Easter Sunday second-line. Did you know that gospel queen Mahalia Jackson grew up singing in a little pink church in the Black Pearl or that Treme is the oldest African American neighborhood in the country? In an exploration that weaves together history, culture and resident stories, Maggy Baccinelli captures New Orleans' neighborhood identities from the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain.
In the early 1980s the tenant leaders of the New Orleans St. Thomas public housing development and their activist allies were militant, uncompromising defenders of the city’s public housing communities. Yet ten years later these same leaders became actively involved in a planning effort to privatize and downsize their community—an effort that would drastically reduce the number of affordable apartments. What happened? John Arena—a longtime community and labor activist in New Orleans—explores this drastic change in Driven from New Orleans, exposing the social disaster visited on the city’s black urban poor long before the natural disaster of Katrina magnified their plight. Arena argues that the key to understanding New Orleans’s public housing transformation from public to private is the co-optation of grassroots activists into a government and foundation-funded nonprofit complex. He shows how the nonprofit model created new political allegiances and financial benefits for activists, moving them into a strategy of insider negotiations that put the profit-making agenda of real estate interests above the material needs of black public housing residents. In their turn, white developers and the city’s black political elite embraced this newfound political “realism” because it legitimized the regressive policies of removing poor people and massively downsizing public housing, all in the guise of creating a new racially integrated, “mixed-income” community. In tracing how this shift occurred, Driven from New Orleans reveals the true nature, and the true cost, of reforms promoted by an alliance of a neoliberal government, nonprofits, community activists, and powerful real estate interests.
Portland, Oregon, though widely regarded as a liberal bastion, also has struggled historically with ethnic diversity; indeed, the 2010 census found it to be “America’s whitest major city.” In early recognition of such disparate realities, a group of African American activists in the 1960s formed a local branch of the Black Panther Party in the city’s Albina District to rally their community and be heard by city leaders. And as Lucas Burke and Judson Jeffries reveal, the Portland branch was quite different from the more famous—and infamous—Oakland headquarters. Instead of parading through the streets wearing black berets and ammunition belts, Portland’s Panthers were more concerned with opening a health clinic and starting free breakfast programs for neighborhood kids. Though the group had been squeezed out of local politics by the early 1980s, its legacy lives on through the various activist groups in Portland that are still fighting many of the same battles. Combining histories of the city and its African American community with interviews with former Portland Panthers and other key players, this long-overdue account adds complexity to our understanding of the protracted civil rights movement throughout the Pacific Northwest.
"This is the most important book I've read about Katrina and what came after. In the tradition of Howard Zinn this could be called 'The People's History of the Storm.' Jordan Flaherty was there on the front lines."Eve Ensler, playwright of The Vagina Monologues and activist and founder of V-Day "Jordan Flaherty brings the sharp analysis and dedication of a seasoned organizer to his writing, and insightful observation to his reporting. He unfailingly has his ear to the ground in a city that continues to reveal the floodlines of structural racism in America."Tram Nguyen, author of We Are All Suspects Now: Untold Stories from Immigrant Communities after 9/11 Floodlines is a firsthand account of community, culture, and resistance in New Orleans. The book weaves the stories of gay rappers, Mardi Gras Indians, Arab and Latino immigrants, public housing residents, and grassroots activists in the years before and after Katrina. From post-Katrina evacuee camps to torture testimony at Angola Prison to organizing with the family members of the Jena Six, Floodlines tells the stories behind the headlines from an unforgettable time and place in history. Jordan Flaherty is a writer and community organizer based in New Orleans. In addition to his award-winning post-Katrina journalism, he was the first journalist with a national audience to write about the Jena Six case and played an important role in bringing the story to theattention of the world. He has produced news segments for Al-Jazeera, TeleSur, and Democracy Now! and appeared as a guest on a wide range of television and radio shows, including CNN's American Morning, Anderson Cooper 360, CNN Headline News, GRITtv, Keep Hope Alive with Reverend Jesse Jackson, and both local and nationally syndicated shows on National Public Radio.

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