tom joyner (2015)

*The 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina being upon us, folks far and wide are recalling how one of the USA’s worst natural disasters affected them.

Today, radio legend Tom Joyner wrote an essay/blog that we thought we’d share with you:

It was so different back then. No Twitter, no Facebook, there weren’t even any smart phones. So when news of the storm hit while we were taping our TV show in Los Angeles, we found out the old fashioned way…on the news.

We loved New Orleans, and all the cities on the Gulf Coast. Since the beginning of the TJMS we were heard in Mississippi towns of Gulf Port, Bilxoi and Natchez, Meridian, some of the places hit hardest by Katrina. When they had a problem, so did we.

Radio, black radio in particular, has connections with its audience like none other. Whether it’s electing a president or covering a major disaster, our audience knows we will represent them and offer a perspective unlike what they’ll get from mainstream media.

We knew something was going on but like the rest of the country we thought the worst was over once the storm was downgraded. But then …you know the rest.

What you might not know is that we, me, Sybil, J. and Myra J. were travelling with Ms. Dupre/actress/comedian Jedda Jones. Her home, her sisters, her daughter, her grandson, and her mom were all in the 9th Ward and she had no way of getting to them. She knew they were safe, but that’s all she knew, and she didn’t know how long that would be the case.

Since the airport in New Orleans was closed, I suggested that Jedda come home to Dallas and stay in my pop’s home around the corner from me, until she could return to New Orleans. No one could have predicted, (not even a person with the gift like Ms. Dupre) that it would be months before she could go back home.

I wasn’t the only one opening my home to a victim of the storm. Hundreds of people all over the country were hosting family and friends who were left homeless. One of my staff members, Mary and her husband and two kids opened their home to five additional family members.

Read the rest of Tom Joyner’s Hurricane Katrina essay/blog at BlackAmericaWeb.com.