[Mb-civic] 'To Me, It Just Seems Like Black People Are Marked' - Wil
Haygood - Washington Post
swiggard at comcast.net
Fri Sep 2 04:39:14 PDT 2005
'To Me, It Just Seems Like Black People Are Marked'
By Wil Haygood
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 2, 2005; Page A01
BATON ROUGE, La., Sept. 1 -- It seemed a desperate echo of a bygone era,
a mass of desperate-looking black folk on the run in the Deep South.
Some without shoes.
It was high noon Thursday at a rest stop on the edge of Baton Rouge when
several buses pulled in, fresh from the calamity of Hurricane Katrina in
Hundreds piled out, dragging themselves as if floating through some kind
of thick liquid. They were exhausted, some crying.
"It was like going to hell and back," said Bernadette Washington, 38, a
black homemaker from Orleans Parish who had slept under a bridge the
night before with her five children and her husband. She sighed the
familiar refrain, stinging as an old-time blues note: "All I have is the
clothes on my back. And I been sleeping in them for three days."
While hundreds of thousands of people have been dislocated by Hurricane
Katrina, the images that have filled the television screens have been
mainly of black Americans -- grieving, suffering, in some cases looting
and desperately trying to leave New Orleans. Along with the intimate
tales of family drama and survival being played out Thursday, there was
no escaping that race had become a subtext to the unfolding drama of the
"To me," said Bernadette Washington, "it just seems like black people
are marked. We have so many troubles and problems."
"After this," her husband, Brian Thomas, said, "I want to move my family
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