HOUSTON, TX – Hurricane Katrina, for many a distant memory; but for some who now live here, not being in New Orleans is a constant reminder. 8 years later as clear as yesterday.
Dr. Mtangulizi Sanyika, one of many who moved here from New Orleans, recalls, “Thinking we would come back home, but the news said, ‘no’, you can’t come back home. The city is not prepared, it is too dangerous and there been an enormous degree of damage to the city you can’t come home.”
Sanyika, at the time an educator at Dillard University in New Orleans, made it to Houston with his wife, “We had to go to the Astrodome every day. My wife and I would spend 12 to 16 hours in that dome, chained inside of it. In those long lines, we were just another number. Just another digit, trying to find a life again.”
Eventually finding their way in the Bayou City, away from home.
“It was a time examination unlike anything I’ve had to go through in my whole life. To find myself again…to put my life back together again, literally from the ground up and from broken pieces. Without having any sense of what was the status of my life back in my hometown.”
Mtangulizi is at home amongst us, but New Orleans will always be part of who he is.
“It’s in my system, and it will always be, because it’s simply home. I don’t feel any tension or conflict because I still feel associated with it and attached to it.”
Now, Houston is also a part of him.