When Gentilly needed her...
....she was there.
The fences are 9 feet high in the patio area, so people can't see any devastation around them and can feel at peace
This is Miss T (aka Tommye Myrick,Center for African and African-American Studies @ Southern University & noted Actor & Director). Miss T, in many ways, epitomizes the strength and spirit of the Local Independent community in America. Her story is truly amazing and inspiring, and it comes from a city for which many, including me, have a special place in their heart.
Dana, my colleague and fellow organizer in New Orleans said that Nola has the unfortunate distinction of having experienced Ecological AND Economic disaster on a scale few of us can imagine, let alone understand. But to hear Miss T speak about The JuJu Bag Cafe & Salon and what it has meant (and does mean) to the Gentilly community is utterly astounding. If the second part of her interview doesn't at least give you goosebumps, you're either not human or you have no heart.
Quoting: "This place became a sanctuary and a place for you to find comfort. And we have never asked anyone to leave...we close at 3:00 O'Clock but if customers are here, they stay and we stay. At 5 O'clock they're still here...we're still here. At 7 O'clock, they're still here...I tell my workers, you can go...I'm here. We never ask anyone to leave."
....and I don't know if she'll EVER know how much her message to you, meant to me. If you've read or followed the story to this point, you may have seen that before I got to Nola, I was doubting myself, worrying that I'd made a mistake by embarking on this journey, thinking that maybe it wasn't worth it after all. And then, as if speaking to the core of my fears and doubts, reassured me. "Follow your first instinct. Your first instinct is always right. It's God's way of telling you that's what you're supposed to do."
Thank you Miss T, for all that you are, all that you do....and for helping me follow my instincts.
the phone rings loudly during part of the first segment....when i get back home I'll be working with a friend to improve the audio quality and chop the responses into smaller pieces.