Brett Martel, AP, Jan. 16, 2006
NEW ORLEANS — Mayor Ray Nagin told a crowd gathered at City Hall for a Martin Luther King Day march that New Orleans will be “chocolate” again.
“We ask black people . . . It’s time for us to come together. It’s time for us to rebuild New Orleans — the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans,” Nagin said Monday. “This city will be a majority African American city. It’s the way God wants it to be. You can’t have New Orleans no other way. It wouldn’t be New Orleans.”
The city was more than 60 percent black before Hurricane Katrina displaced about three-quarters of its population, but spared several predominantly white neighborhoods.
NEW ORLEANS — The mayor of New Orleans called on his struggling Saturday to unite in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy as it rebuilds its hurricane-ravaged neighborhoods.
Nagin said he is committed to seeing a diverse city rebuilt, and he hoped that this year’s King celebrations, beginning Sunday, would focus on the legacy of King and Rosa Parks, as well as those who died as Hurricane Katrina hit the city on Aug. 29 and flooded its neighborhoods.
New Orleans, which before the storm was two-thirds black, cannot be allowed to change significantly in the rebuilding process, Nagin said.
“I’m focused on rebuilding one New Orleans for everyone,” he said.