The event began with a special screening of excerpts from the National Geographic film 'Deadly Floods', in which UNTOLD received film credit. Following the screening, the Katrina survivor featured in the film, Imani Williams, shared an emotional speech on her struggles during and after the storm. Lynette Norris Wilkinson spoke and signed copies of her book about Hurricane Katrina, which tells the true stories of 16 survivors from the devastated Lower 9th Ward where she grew up. Several survivors featured in the inspirational book were present to answer questions and share additional insight. New Orleans native, choreographer and performing artist Michelle Gibson gave the history of the New Orleans Second Line dance before leading the audience to participate, accompanied by a brass band.
Vicki Meek, director of the South Dallas Cultural Center, a sponsor for the event, served as emcee. Participants and sponsors for the event received a proclamation from the City of New Orleans and its mayor for their participation and efforts in the commemoration of Hurricane Katrina. In addition to Ms. Meek, recipients include Lynette Norris Wilkinson; Imani Williams; Michelle Gibson; The Dallas Weekly; The Brass Band; David’s Seafood Grill in Cedar Hill; The Big Easy New Orleans Style Sandwiches in Plano; Barnes and Noble Creekwalk Village in Plano; Red Lobster in Duncanville;
“I wrote this book," stated Wilkinson, "for anyone searching for truth, encouragement, hope, and faith through the words of these survivors. Persons who have overcome adversity; persons wanting insight into the Katrina experience; those who helped survivors or want to help in the recovery process; as well as teachers wanting to expose a younger generation to one of the greatest natural disasters in recent history, will find what they are looking for in UNTOLD.”
'Untold: The New Orleans 9th Ward You Never Knew', a compelling and revealing book about Hurricane Katrina, offers an in-depth look into the lives of 16 residents from the Lower 9th Ward and shares their memories, their faith and describes how they survived. 'Untold' focuses specifically on the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans, Wilkinson's childhood place of residence. Unlike other books on the subject of Hurricane Katrina, the stories are presented from the perspective of someone who grew up in the 9th Ward. 'Untold' tells the stories of survivors of Hurricane Katrina, ages 8 to 80, and is packed with powerful and inspirational stories and brilliantly sheds some positive light on a very dark time. UNTOLD also tells the history of how the Lower 9th Ward developed and continued to thrive in this close-knit community.
'Untold' was named Book of the Year by Sankofa Literary Society and holds a 4.9 out of 5 star ranking on Amazon. The book is available in softcover and ebook versions at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Google Books. Proceeds from the book are donated to an organization helping the recovery efforts of residents of the 9th Ward. More information is available at Wilkinson's website at http://www.HurricaneKatrinaStories.com.
Lynette Norris Wilkinson is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Lynette Norris Wilkinson:
Award-winning writer Lynette Norris Wilkinson was born and raised in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. She attended Macarty School (kindergarten)
After graduating cum laude from Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas, with a major in journalism and a minor in marketing, she took a job with Dun & Bradstreet as a business reporter. After marrying and moving to Dallas and working in customer service for a publishing company for a few years, she decided she wanted to get back into writing. Lynette volunteered with the Dallas Public Library and other nonprofit agencies and wrote articles, brochures, and manuals to build her portfolio. She had learned how to reinvent herself.
In August 2005, Lynette found herself with 16 family members and friends on her doorstep when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. They had nothing but the clothes on their backs and the few possessions they had in their cars. But they had their lives, and they had each other. Through this experience, Lynette learned what really matters.
Seeing the devastated Lower Ninth Ward, she had the God-inspired idea to write a book that celebrated Hurricane Katrina survivors from that area and donate the proceeds to organizations that are helping residents recover. She says, “You see me as I am now, but there was where it all began. These are my roots and my people. How could I not use my gift to do what is within my power to help?”
And so the book, 'Untold: The New Orleans 9th Ward You Never Knew', was born. The author says, “If this is the best and biggest thing I ever do in my life, I will be happy.”