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November 2022 - Episode 9

Contested Spaces

An extensive system of levees runs along the Mississippi River, from Missouri through to the Delta region of Louisiana. Some of these floodbanks have been converted into walking and biking trails, which are supposed to be open to the public.

But in some rural Louisiana communities, converted levee paths are not always equitably accessible. These communities are more than 50% Black, but researchers have found that Black and White residents report different experiences when it comes to feeling safe and welcome on the levee.

This means Black people are at a real disadvantage when it comes to accessing these trails, and puts them in harm’s way when they do try and access the levee. Without clear guidelines, the default may be structural racism, which many claim has been, and continues to be, the law of the land in Louisiana.


“Understanding Attitudes and Perceptions of Public Levee Access for Physical Activity and Recreation in Rural Northeast Louisiana Along the Mississippi River Delta”

Photo by Fiona Jackson on Unsplash
Photo by Fiona Jackson on Unsplash