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4,000 Days to New Orleans

July 11th, 2016 Comments off

On Thanksgiving Day ’08, while visiting my little sister in Southwest Charlotte, I sat down to a fine meal with love ones. It was November 27, 2008, 1,177 days after I first joined the Katrina Relief Efforts. At the request of a Katrina Survivor named Rick Mathieu from the Treme Neighborhood of New Orleans in November ’05, I purchased a camera for what I thought was to be use to document storm and flood damages at his Treme and Seventh Ward homes. Instead, it was used to document the repopulation of the Big Easy. For three straight years, I carried around that camera (from Uptown to Downtown, from Lakefront to Riverfront, from Eastbank to Westbank) like people today carry around their smart phones. It was always in my hand. As you will see, my brother-in-law Pastor Sean Weaver turned my camera back on me. I was like “Soul Food” movie meets 60 Minutes

I sounded so engaging, and I remember feeling relieved that my Hurricane Katrina research was over. Not! Today, I know that I wasn’t even 1/3rd of the way to fruition when this rare interview of myself was captured. Yesterday, I asked a lifelong friend named Kathy to describe me with one word. Her response was, “Engaging.” This upcoming August 20, 2016, will mark my 4,000th day since joining the Katrina Efforts on September 7, 2005. It is good to know that after all these years, I’m still engaging. 4,000 I’ll need that character trait even more so to finally tell this mega story of what really happened in and around New Orleans during the Katrina Response.

Why is this all still relevant? Because it socially and politically changed the world; lame ducking arguably the most powerful man in the history of the world, Pres. George W. Bush, only seven months into his second term; sending the nation on a path toward CHANGE. Am I talking conspiracy theories? Not at all. I exhaustively researched and meticulously positioned literally thousands of events during those surreal days of the Katrina Resposnse into their proper sequence. I thank God for Microsoft Excel. Anyways, it is there where the true story jumps right out and slaps you. Basically, the light skinned city leaders of New Orleans (Katrina Responders) were scared to death of the darker skinned constituents (Katrina Survivors). A New Orleans pigmentocracy. Three Shades of Blackness

 


M. Darryl Woods, Lead Researcher
The Contraflow Project




7 Cities for 7 Books Campaign – Atlanta

June 26th, 2016 Comments off

THE CONTRAFLOW PROJECT
thecontraflow@yahoo.com
@thecontraflow
(803) 792-7037

 
 
Katrina ResponseTHPTreme
 

The Contraflow Project Shedding New Light on the Hurricane Katrina Response

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

FORT MILL, SC, JUNE 27, 2016: The Contraflow Project (TCP), a nonprofit research organization, announces its Hurricane Katrina Response Educational Awareness Campaign. “Contraflow,” a Louisiana highway evacuation procedure allowing coastal-bound traffic lanes to flow in the opposite direction of normal, seemed a fitting term for TCP co-founder and former Doraville resident M. Darryl Woods.

Eleven years ago this summer, the world watched in dismay the humanitarian crisis down on the bayou called “Katrina.” On September 7, 2005, M. Woods answered the call to assist fellow Americans in dire need and joined the Katrina Relief Efforts. What began as volunteer house gutting block by block and virtual office services, led to Woods chronicling the Katrina experiences of four men known as the “Soul Patrol” from the New Orleans 7th Ward; along with documenting the Post-Katrina Year One repopulation of the Crescent City.

In late spring ’06, one still gnawing question was why did Delta Airlines supposedly withhold the destination from the passengers on the Soul Patrol’s September 10, 2005, Operation Air Care relocation flight out of New Orleans Louis Armstrong Int’l Airport (MSY)? After several failed electronic attempts to reach Delta spokesman Anthony Black, the airline was going through reorganization at the time; Woods snail-mailed an inquiry to their ATL Headquarters. To his surprise, charter operations manager Tracy Bevingtion responded with word that Captains Joe Kolshak and Mike Quiello wanted to talk. What those two airline executives, who piloted Delta humanitarian Flight 9900 in and out of MSY on September 1, 2005, had to say would unwittingly lead to Woods transitioning focus from solely that of the survivors’ saga to the vastly overlooked responders’ experiences. It was later learned in subsequent interviews that the Delta flight crew in question ignored the FEMA “destination unknown” policy somewhere over the Ozarks when they compassionately informed the displaced Louisianans their plane was en route to Nebraska.

Delta OCC

Now on the trail of the big picture, in Dec. ’06, Woods set out on a Katrina Responders fact-finding mission to San Diego, L.A., San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Atlanta and Memphis. In 2007, the TCP Lead Researcher was given a personal tour of Delta’s Flight Ops/Operations Customer Center (OCC) at ATL; where he met the man in charge during Katrina, the late Bill Miret.

Thanks to the cooperation of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, FEMA, FAA, USFWS, state and municipal agencies, etc., the interviewing and meticulous research continued well into this decade. Then, after reading the Times-Picayune article, “Superdome’s Condition Leaves Mark on Doctor” on March 14, 2014, TCP finally cracks the Katrina Response DNA code. Woods says, “I believe that once the sequence of events is understood, the true story of Katrina can be understood.”

In recognition of July 7, 2016, the 10-year anniversary of the game changing Delta Airlines Kolshak-Quiello interview, Woods plans to initiate a fact-sharing mission physically and digitally revisiting the same ’06 cities to bring attention to the forthcoming 7-part book series, CONTRAFLOW: A KATRINA HEPTALOGY; which is void of blame, political agendas, media sensationalism, race-carding and demographic stereotyping. It’s dedicated to ALL Katrina Responders. The “7 Cities for 7 Books” campaign plans to begin on August 20, 2016; another milestone representing the 4,000th day anniversary of Woods’ personal involvement in Post-Katrina New Orleans. To paraphrase a 1987 Delta ad campaign, “M. Darryl Woods loves anything New Orleans, and it shows!”

CONTRAFLOW is, in the immortal words of Paul Harvey, “The Rest of the Story. Good day!” To learn more please visit: www.thecontraflow.org.

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