Herbert Gettridge, 83, in front of his house in the Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans, in 2006. Photo Â©Â David Rae Morris, from his “Lagniappe” series, Katrina at One.Â Â
The man who took this picture is an old friend and partner one of my dearest friends (when I was as yet parentally nameless, she suggested the winner: “Baba,” diminutive for “father” in her Frankfurter dialect). He’s also an inspired (and inspirational) photojournalist.
David was born in England and raised in New York City, but he adopted his father’s homeland for his own in his adult life. Â He and Susanne met in Mississippi, and they’d been living in New Orleans (in the Upper Ninth Ward) for about ten years when Katrina hit. They got out of the city with their young child before the hurricane made landfall, but David returned earlier than most — within two weeks, long before local residents were allowed back, thanks to his photojournalist’s credentials. Â (His story here.) He documented the devastation in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi in the weeks, months, and years following Katrina. Â It has been a Herculean task, evident in the depth and emotional presence in every image.
You’ve likely seen some of his images in national newspapers or magazines, but on his website he’s arranged some of the best of his Katrina work. Go see.