"Requiem for New Orleans" is a lament for the destruction of a great city and scorn for those who allowed it to happen. Mike Sharpe writes: "New Orleans was not destroyed by a hurricane but by abandonment." Above all, "Requiem for New Orleans" is a meditation on our ability to overcome loss. It is an interweaving of biblical cadences, black idiom, standard American speech, jazz, and the caustic side of protest music. The author leaves us with a question: when will we learn what we must from the fate of New Orleans?
I. Requiem; II. New Orleans, Where Do You Come From?; III. Katrina; IV. Stay Back; V. In Iraq; VI. Death; VII. Where Are You, God?; VIII. Entr'acte, Part 1: Walking on the Sunny Side of the Street; Entr'acte, Part 2:…and on the Shady Side of the Street; IX. Diaspora; X. Preamble to the Constitution; XI. Jeremiah in New Orleans; XII. A Dream and an Awakening; Notes on Quotations and Acknowledgments; Postscript; About the Author.