Nueva New Orleans: Race Relations and (Im)migration in the Post-Katrina South

Jessica Tollette, Harvard University

Using data from the Resilience in Survivors of Katrina Project, I investigate how demographic changes following hurricane Katrina have shifted notions of neighborhood race relations and attitudes towards immigration for low-income African-American women from New Orleans. While previous studies have correctly observed differences in racial attitudes across ethno-racial groups, few studies have explored diverse attitudes within racial groups. Drawing on data from 82 interviews, I compare the post-Katrina experiences of low-income, African-American women who permanently left New Orleans, movers, and those that either stayed in New Orleans left the city only temporarily after the hurricane, stayers. My study finds that attitudes about race relations are shaped by the local demographic and cultural context and position of immigrant reception (i.e. mover/stayer status). This research not only has implications for how we understand black-brown relations, but also how we make sense of the ways that mobility affects race relations and racial attitudes.

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Presented in Poster Session 8