Common Dreams - Poet Sunni Patterson is one of New Orleans' most beloved artists. She has performed in nearly every venue in the city, toured the US, and frequently appears on television and radio, from Democracy Now to Def Poetry Jam. When she performs her poems in local venues, half the crowd recites the words along with her. But, like many who grew up here, she was forced to move away from the city she loves. She left as part of a wave of displacement that began with Katrina and still continues to this day. While hers is just one story, it is emblematic of the situation of many African Americans from New Orleanians, who no longer feel welcomed in the city they were born in.
Patterson comes from New Orleans's Ninth Ward. Her family's house was cut in half by the floodwaters and has since been demolished. Despite the loss of her home, she was soon back in the city, living in the Treme neighborhood. Read more.