Date of Award

Summer 8-2-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Pam Jenkins

Second Advisor

Vern Baxter

Third Advisor

Denise Strong


This qualitative case study explores the post-Katrina experiences of African Americans in Houston and in New Orleans. When the levees failed, residents from New Orleans were scattered across the country. Houston housed the largest population of displaced low-income African Americans from New Orleans. As the rebuilding process began, housing, employment, education, and healthcare policies in New Orleans changed. These institutional changes employed urban revitalization and poverty removal strategies adapted to disaster recovery. This study differs from previous research by examining these changes with an intersectional approach. It explores how African Americans frame obstacles as they attempt to return to a city with reformed housing, employment, education, and healthcare policies. To do this, I analyze three different cases 1) those that returned to New Orleans, 2) those still displaced in Houston, and 3) those that relocated to Houston after returning to New Orleans for over a year.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.