This title offers a look back at a powerful moment in New Orleans' history. ""Showdown in Desire"" portrays the Black Panther Party in New Orleans in 1970, a year that included a shootout with the police on Piety Street, the creation of survival programs, and the daylong standoff between the Panthers and the police in the Desire housing development. Through interviews with Malik Rahim, the Panther; Robert H. King, Panther and member of the Angola 3; Larry Preston Williams, the black policeman; Moon Landrieu, the mayor; Henry Faggen, the Desire resident; Robert Glass, the white lawyer; Jerome LeDoux, the black priest; William Barnwell, the white priest; and, many others, Orissa Arend tells a nuanced story that unfolds amid guns, tear gas, desperate poverty, oppression, and inflammatory rhetoric to capture the palpable spirit of rebellion, resistance, and revolution of an incendiary summer in New Orleans.
Orissa Arend is a mediator, freelance journalist, and psychotherapist in private practice in New Orleans. She has written for the Louisiana Weekly, the New Orleans Tribune, and the Times-Picayune. Charles E. Jones is associate professor and founding chair of the Department of African-American Studies at Georgia State University. He is the editor of Black Panther Party Reconsidered. Curtis J. Austin is associate professor of history and director of the Center for Black Studies at the University of Southern Mississippi. He is the author of Up Against the Wall: Violence in the Making and Unmaking of the Black Panther Party (University of Arkansas Press).