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Recap: Voices of the Lower Ninth

The Lower 9th Ward was arguably the epicenter of the massive flooding that followed the failure of the levees after Hurricane Katrina on Aug 29, 2005. While the neighborhood will forever be marked by that epic event, it’s not all that identifies this historic and intrinsic part of New Orleans. So as New Orleans approaches the ninth anniversary of Katrina, we wanted to see and hear from the the faces, voices, and landmarks give life to the Lower nine, making the neighborhood a community.

Last week, as part of a new “Voices” feature, NolaVie explored the Lower Nine landscape in a series of virtual galleries and spoke with some of the community achievers — from the owner of Cafe Dauphine to the creator of the cultural museum House of Dance and Feathers to the founder of non-profit neighborhood gardening organization Backyard Gardeners Network– about their lives there, the people there, the community there.

A new kind of neighborhood watch

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An interview with Jenga Mwendo, the founder of Backyard Gardeners Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the Lower Nine through the neighborhood’s food growing tradition.


House of Dance and Feathers



An interview with Ronald Lewis, the face and brains behind Lower Nine cultural museum House of Dance and Feathers.


An oasis in a food desert


An interview Tia Henry, who, along with her husband and sister-in-law, dedicated four years to opening neighborhood food oasis Cafe’ Dauphine in a Katrina-ravaged building.


Keeping history alive in the Lower 9



An interview with Brenda Robinson, the creator of Lower 9th Ward Notables, a multi-volume book series documenting Lower Ninth Ward achievers.


L9 and the man from Shiloh


An interview with Lower Ninth elder Pete Ellis.


A virtual gallery: Ninth Ward snapshots Part I


A visual exploration of Lower Ninth Ward landmarks.


A virtual gallery: Ninth Ward snapshots Part II


A visual exploration of Lower Ninth Ward landmarks.


Virtual gallery: A Bee-autiful Cause


A visual exploration of Just Bee Cause, a 24-hive network of not-for-profit bee farms scattered throughout the Lower Ninth Ward.

Future Voices series will look at other New Orleans neighborhoods. Email comments and suggestions about this and other areas and people to cover to editor@


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