Lasting Effects of Katrina

Title

Lasting Effects of Katrina

Format

Video Interview

Subject

Hurricane Katrina

Description

This is an interview with Rev. Dr. Theodore Turner, a New Orleans native, Pastor of Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Boothville, Louisiana.

Creator

Joy Eddy

Source

My Nola, My Story via Youtube

Publisher

Mass Communication department at Xavier University of Louisiana

Date

6 May 2021

Contributor

Joy Eddy

Rights

My Nola, My Story

Relation

My Nola, My Story 2021

Language

English

Type

iMovie

Coverage

A Digital Humanities project by Xavier University of Louisiana's Mass Communication department students, led by Dr. Shearon Roberts

Original Format

Transcription

Joy Eddy: Hello My name is Joy Eddy and I am a first-year student here at Xavier University of Lousiana. I am here with Reverend Turner. Would you like to introduce yourself and tell us a little about yourself?

Rev. Dr. Turner: Certainly. My name is Rev. Dr. Theodore Turner Junior. I am the pastor of Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Boothville, Louisiana. Have been for the past 22 years. And I’m also an employee of Plaquemines Parish Detention Center. I serve as the Chaplain in this facility. That’s basically the panorama of my current standing.

Joy Eddy: Thank you so much for that statement. And thank you even more for agreeing to do this interview. Would you like to get started?

Rev. Dr. Turner: Yes. Indeed.

Joy Eddy: Would you please describe your experience with Hurricane Katrina.

Rev. Dr. Turner: Huh. Well. To. To make an understatement, to say it was traumatic, um, is an understatement. Um, the entire event has left all of us with what I believe, all of us who experienced the effects of it, particularly in our area, um, with some sort of, um, hurricane PTSD *laugh* uh there is so many, so many things, emotional things, we experience. Even today, as we drive through our communities and notice many factors are out of place, people are out of place, and things of that nature, but nevertheless our desire to live here, our motivation to continue to create a society capable of sustaining a good life, is greater than anything that we have experienced.

Joy Eddy: Thank you so much. How did the Hurricane impact the way that you see life?

Rev. Dr. Turner: It certainly, um, it taught me that there are things that are beyond my control. And therefore I need to have someone in my life who has control of all things and so in that regard it strengthened my faith in God. Who in spite of the difficulties we face and experience, has sustained us and supplied us with the essentials that we need for life.

Joy Eddy: Thank you. Did you return to NOLA after Katrina? Why or why not?

Rev. Dr. Turner: Well, first of all, I live 75 miles south of New Orleans, so New Orleans is a whole ‘nother world in comparison to where we live. And also yes, I returned immediately, I remember the night that our community was being devastated by the hurricane. I was watching it on a big screen TV at United Methodist Church right there on Trenton Boulevard in your area (Ruston, LA) and we were watching it on a giant screen TV. And the pastor asked me then, um, what are my intentions now that my community is destroyed. And I said “well I’m waiting on the winds to die down and the waters to subside so that I can go home.” There was never any doubt that I wanted to come back home and I was gonna come back home if the government allowed us to come home. So yes, immediately, I wanted to come back home and it was about 6, well 4 to 6 weeks later when we were allowed to get back home and I was able to see that the community and the devastation that we had experienced.

Joy Eddy: I know that you stated earlier that New Orleans, I mean the New Orleans area and other communities that were devastated by Katrina never really fully recovered but, do you think it ever will?

Rev. Dr. Turner: Well that’s gonna be determined by the powers that be. And when I say that I’m talking about government entities and also businesses who have a desire to invest in this area because now just like the potential for natural disaster exists, as it does everywhere, there’s no safe place in the world, is exempt from the possibility of natural disasters but now because crime is so rampant people are hesitant about the New Orleans area in particular. But here in our community that’s not a factor, its just that industry has divested itself of our area and people who live here are being, are being somewhat inventive in taking advantage of the lay of the land by *inaudible* their resources personally and running their businesses, well the few businesses we have here themselves. So we’re gonna, we’re sustaining ourselves here and I don’t know if, I know we won’t ever be back where we were because I’d say 60, 60 to 70% of the people are gone that we grew up with and were here, to begin with.

Joy Eddy: Thank you. Did Katrina impact your career?

Rev. Dr. Turner: Not really because prior to working for the sheriff’s department I worked for a tugboat company. I was a compliance officer for a tugboat company. So all of this is oilfield work and it’s been the hub for some time, of the oilfield industry. We always have employment here. A lot of that work has shifted to the west post-Katrina and also because there are some other issues in the area. Inadequate planning by local government to take advantage of their chance to grow the industry here. But no, I’ve always had employment and always found employment and I think in my entire career, 50 years of working from a little boy up till now, I’ve never been without a job more than three weeks so I’ve always managed to find something that was conducive to what I wanted to do.

Joy Eddy: Thank you. This is the last question. What is the overall message that you want the public to realize about Katrina?

Rev. Dr. Turner: That these disasters could happen at any time and any place. That we, we, people need to be more sensitive and compassionate for people who go through these disasters and less judgemental because there was a time when people criticized us are returning home stating that was gonna happen again only for those critics to themselves face, some of them later faced similar disasters and they did just what we did, return back to their homes. So, always be compassionate, have compassion. I also found on the flip side of that, that many people in many areas open their arms and their purses and aided many people in this area. There were several groups of nonprofits that helped us to recover, in a recovery process, for which I was able to work with. There were many of those types of people who, who tried to help people. So, people need to be compassionate more than anything, continue to be compassionate, and I found that people are, but there are those negative persons who want to dictate to people where to live and how to live, who sometimes can dry up well support for people who are in need. We never asked for a handout. And I’m sure you’ve heard this expression before, “all we need is a hand up”. I’m one of these people who love pop music, um popular music and there was an old musician who said it like this “I don’t want nobody to give me nothing, all I need you to do is get out of the way and let me get it myself” and that’s how we can make it.

Joy Eddy: Thank you so much.

Rev. Dr. Turner: Mhm. You are quite welcome. You are quite welcome.

Duration

8:41 (8 mins 41 seconds)

Producer

Joy Eddy

Director

Joy Eddy

Files

REV TURNER.jpeg
Date Added
February 24, 2021
Item Type
Moving Image
Tags
, , ,
Citation
Joy Eddy, “Lasting Effects of Katrina,” MY NOLA, MY STORY , accessed November 29, 2022, https://xulamasscomm.omeka.net/items/show/143.