Dear Mr. Woods:
I’d like to thank you for the Contraflow Project and the tremendous contributions your work continues to make toward a fuller understanding of Hurricane Katrina. It is hard to imagine a more significant moment in American history. Society is indebted to anyone who takes the time, resources and patience to unearth its many dimensions.
As a writer and researcher, I have some experience with the enormity of your task. The book I edited on Katrina, After the Storm: Black Intellectuals Explore the Meaning of Hurricane Katrina, was released on the anniversary of the deluge. At the time, much was not known about many of the important details. As the years have passed, many accounts of the disaster have assumed certain facts. However, your work demonstrates that many core assumptions of the disaster were not understood and remain unknown to many.
Therefore, I am grateful for the obvious sacrifices you have made in remaining curious and tenacious long after many sincere inquirers had left the scene. Your work will constitute a critical foundation for future research, policy and public understandings. It joins an important tradition of journalism and historical scholarship. I wish you luck in its distribution.
David D. Troutt
Professor of Law
Rutgers School of Law (Newark)