This chapter explores the motivations of the helpers and the experiences of those who were helped in New Orleans and on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast. By and large, people got the help they needed and asked for face to face, though not without an occasional misunderstanding. Clergy that tried to live as the leaders of entire communities under stress did not fare so well, with burnout and worse ensuing. The case of Rev. Dr. Alice Graham an educator who had sworn never to set foot in Mississippi after the 1955 killing of Emmet Till exemplifies another group—people who were so caught up in the need to help that they found themselves moving to the region permanently out of a sense of religious vocation. One of Katrina’s surprises for many lifelong southerners was how many old racial boundaries were being broached as people helped one another, even as others seemed to remain in place.
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