Erica: I’ve been in the Ninth Ward all my life. When I first started out in the streets, I wanted to see what life was all about. At the age of seventeen I got shot in the stomach with a thirty-eight hollow point. At the age of twenty-five I got shot in the mouth.
BW: Why did you get shot?
Erica: I was out here trickin’ on drugs and I learned the hard way. This Ninth Ward is a jungle. It’s been a jungle ever since I was sixteen. They killin’ they own people down here and it’s sad. This is the hidden south, C.T.C, Cutthroat city. We don’t do it to others, we do it to ourselves. It hurts because the Ninth Ward isn’t getting better. Everywhere else has a corner store or a sweet shop or a gas station. We don’t have nothin’.
We were the worst place that got hit. I was on the roof for three days back there on Florida Avenue.
BW: What would make it better?
Erica: A nice park for the families, fix the houses up. They always sayin’, “We help the Ninth Ward.” How? Look at the streets! The streets are so bad that you can damage your car just driving down the streets.