I Feel To Believe
For twenty years, starting in 1999, Jarvis DeBerry's New Orleans Times-Picayune column was the place where the city got its most honest look at itself: the good, the bad, the wonderful, and yes, also the weird. And the city took note. DeBerry's columns inspired letters to the editor, water cooler conversations, city council considerations, and barbershop pontification. I Feel To Believe collects his best columns, documenting two decades of constancy and upheaval, loss, racial injustice, and class strife. In a world of tradition in which lifelong New Orleanians hold strongly that one has to be us to truly see us, DeBerry arrived and began his journey. Generations from now, his readers will receive a deep look at the Crescent City before, during, and after Katrina. I Feel To Believe is all at once an accounting, a reckoning, a celebration.
About the Author
Jarvis DeBerry worked for The Times-Picayune newspaper in New Orleans from 1997 to 2019, first as a reporter and as an editorial writer and columnist for NOLA.com The Times-Picayune. DeBerry was part of the team of journalists that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for its coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. In 2007, 2011, 2013 and 2015, DeBerry was awarded first prize for column writing in the annual contest sponsored by the Louisiana/Mississippi Associated Press Managing Editors Association. In 2016 he won the National Association of Black Journalists' Salute to Excellence Award in commentary.
Every great city has its truth tellers, and Jarvis DeBerry is one of the finest that New Orleanians —- including those who claim her by sheer love —- could hope to read. His New Orleans is beautiful, but the raw honesty of his writing also reflects the tectonic shifts that strain the city. To love New Orleans honestly, one must first grasp that she is uniquely Creole, defined by a stratified, almost bizarre racial history like no other city in America. To love New Orleans honestly, start with a truth teller. Begin with this sometimes jarring and always ravishing collection. — Dean Baquet, Executive Editor of The New York Times
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