You know we’ve had issues with how Soledad O’Brien has approached the black community, particularly her well-meaning but absurdly conceived & insultingly executed CNN series Black in America. And you know, JJP is not in the habit of encouraging you to watch anything on TV since well, you’re smart. We figure it’s up to you make your own choices.

That said, I think it’s important that African-Americans support continued coverage of the rebuilding of New Orleans post-Katrina. Katrina remains one of America’s worst humanitarian disasters and many of us believe that a bad situation was made worse — by a city, state and nation reluctant to help mostly poor and mostly black people.

We must not forget New Orleans and the Gulf region. We must help them rebuild. Soledad O’Brien’s documentary, New Orleans Rising, focuses on a middle class suburb of New Orleans: Pontchartrain Park, which has worked hard to rebuild from within. The clip above shows a local artist calling on a former son of Pontchartrain, Treme action Wendell Pierce to help his old neighborhood in the face of red tape, little funding and a new disaster in the form of America’s worst oil spill.

The real tragedy is that both the floods after Hurricane Katrina and the oil spill could have been prevented. It’s up to us as a people to fight for our neighborhoods — we must show those who think that they can do anything to the places we live that we won’t be pushed aside or abused.

If you’re interested, New Orleans Rising airs August 21 and 22 at 8 pm ET. I’m putting it on the DVR. Are you? I want to see how O’Brien approaches Katrina this time around and whether any of our critiques of her approach to our communities has had an impact. We’ll see.

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