The Return of the Guild: More on Katrina

I’m still thinking about Katrina and wishing I had a little more pocket money to send off to those who have been displaced. While questions of race and class are shaming and ought to remain so long enough to effect some real social change (I know, I dream), I have been noticing something else lately.

The story of black and white is overwhelming, but it may be too simple. There is another story, of people looking after those who work in their industries. The Romance novelists at the Squawk Box have raised over $3,000 and have an ongoing auction at eBay for a fellow romance writer displaced by Katrina: she is black, none of the romance bloggers are. The Children’s Book Council has put together a wide range of links for writers and readers to help replenish the libraries—home, school, and public—of those affected (via Out of the Woods Now). Musicians have Musicares. And food writer Andrea Strong lists a range of ways for those in the food and restaurant business can help, including a job bank for displaced food service workers.

Music, food, and reading are all arenas in which people of different races can and do mix—harmoniously and with great, moving benefit for all. Maybe thinking about the recovery in terms of these guilds, these spheres of interest and influence can serve as an antidote to the poison of so much on the news.

That seems like a place to stop, but I’m not happy with this post: I suspect that, in my fatigue I’ve let Pollyanna have too much of a say, so let me just end with this, a caveat: I’m not sure this where I want to end this small set of observations, but it’s where they’ll end now.