mark hertsgaard

Independent Journalist & Author


A New Orleans Christmas in the Lower 9th

Check out some good news from New Orleans, a city that sure deserves it, from The Nation, December 23, 2010:


‘Twas the Sunday before Christmas here in New Orleans when the city offered up one of those unforgettable experiences found nowhere else in the United States: large numbers of black people, taking over the streets through song, dance and community, celebrating that their beloved neighborhood, the Lower Ninth Ward, is finally coming back, lo, these five long years since Hurricane Katrina. Sunday, December 19, also happened to be the birthday of two of the city’s musical giants: Professor Longhair, the piano genius who died in 1980, and Kermit Ruffins, the singer and trumpet player who is New Orleans’s most famous musician of the moment, thanks partly to his appearances in Treme, the HBO series produced by David Simon, creator of The Wire. Ruffins, who has charisma to burn thanks to a gigantic musical gift and an irresistible, nearly constant grin, was born and raised in the Lower Ninth, and he spent his birthday afternoon there, watching with hundreds of his neighbors that uniquely New Orleans phenomenon, a second line street parade. Read more>>>



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About Mark

Independent journalist Mark Hertsgaard is the author of seven books that have been translated into sixteen languages, including Bravehearts: Whistle Blowing in the Age of Snowden; HOT: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth; and A Day in the Life: The Music and Artistry of the Beatles. He has reported from twenty-five countries about politics, culture and the environment for leading outlets, including The Guardian, Der Spiegel, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Time, Mother Jones, NPR, the BBC and The Nation, where is the environment correspondent. He lives in San Francisco.