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date: 02 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines how New Orleanians in the post-Katrina era have drawn upon African American–rooted parade traditions, especially the practice of second lining, to respond to what some have called the biopolitical order in New Orleans, particularly those aspects of it related to state and criminal violence. Some parades have been organized by long-established social aid and pleasure clubs and other traditional African American networks; some are the product of emergent cultural and political formations. Such acts may be viewed as improvised responses to a biopolitical order that is itself both scripted and improvisational. Although the cultural politics of such acts are often contradictory, this essay contends that they often open up important political space for collaboration and reflection on key social justice issues that are defining New Orleans in the post-Katrina era.

Keywords: biopolitics, Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, second lines, violence

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