Image for post
Image for post
Burnell Cotlon photo by Dan Barrett

“No matter what your problem is, there’s always an answer”

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Burnell Cotlon opened the first and only grocery store in New Orleans’ 9th Ward.

“The big box stores, they’re not coming back because there’s not enough people,” Burnell said. “And the people that want to come back, they’re not coming back because there’s no stores.”

“It’s a vicious cycle.”

“Somebody had to break the cycle and do something. And the somebody was me.”

Burnell’s story was highlighted in the Marquette MARDI GRAS Remembering Katrina exhibit, featuring the photography of Dan Barrett:

Image for post
Image for post

Burnell’s quote inspired me to create this sketch to visualize the problem as a wall, and tools and various paths around the Wall as solutions.

Image for post
Image for post

Burnell is still working to break down, go around, go over and go under that Wall. Learn more about Burnell’s vision in this segment from The Ellen Show.

“I want to see the 9th Ward come back. And if I have to build the city back myself, one business at a time, I’m gonna do it.”

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store