This chapter describes how the residents of Ville Platte—a poor Cajun and black Creole community in Evangeline Parish, Louisiana—opened their doors to over 5,000 displaced people they call “company” (the words “refugee” and “evacuee” are considered too impersonal, even impolite). Ville Platte’s homemade rescue and relief effort stands in striking contrast to the incompetence of higher levels of government as well as to the hostility of other, wealthier towns, including some white suburbs of New Orleans, toward influxes of evacuees, especially poor people of color.
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