The Wall

Burnell Cotlon photo by Dan Barrett
“No matter what your problem is, there’s always an answer”

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Burnell Cotlon opened the first and only grocery store in New Orleans’ 9th Ward.

“The big box stores, they’re not coming back because there’s not enough people,” Burnell said. “And the people that want to come back, they’re not coming back because there’s no stores.”

“It’s a vicious cycle.”

“Somebody had to break the cycle and do something. And the somebody was me.”

Burnell’s story was highlighted in the Marquette MARDI GRAS Remembering Katrina exhibit, featuring the photography of Dan Barrett:

Burnell’s quote inspired me to create this sketch to visualize the problem as a wall, and tools and various paths around the Wall as solutions.

Burnell is still working to break down, go around, go over and go under that Wall. Learn more about Burnell’s vision in this segment from The Ellen Show.

“I want to see the 9th Ward come back. And if I have to build the city back myself, one business at a time, I’m gonna do it.”
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