Author

Jarvis DeBerry

Jarvis DeBerry

Jarvis DeBerry, former editor of the Louisiana Illuminator, spent 22 years at The Times-Picayune (and later NOLA.com) as a crime and courts reporter, an editorial writer, columnist and deputy opinions editor. He was on the team of Times-Picayune journalists awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service after that team’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the deadly flood that followed. In addition to the shared Pulitzer, DeBerry has won awards from the Louisiana Bar Association for best trial coverage and awards from the New Orleans Press Club, the Louisiana/ Mississippi Associated Press and the National Association of Black Journalists for his columns. A collection of his Times-Picayune columns, “I Feel to Believe” was published by the University of New Orleans Press in September 2020.

COMMENTARY

Louisianians deserve journalism that prioritizes their daily struggles, successes

By: - August 13, 2021

Louisianians deserve news stories and columns that make their problems the priority. On June 18, 2020, five days before the Louisiana Illuminator launched, I drove to Scenic Highway in Baton Rouge to photograph the ExxonMobil refinery in case we needed pictures to illustrate either our planned story about plants claiming the pandemic prevented them from […]

COMMENTARY

As Louisiana’s COVID-19 cases spread, a gospel of selfishness spreads with it | Jarvis DeBerry

By: - August 6, 2021

Every Christian should know the story of the legal scholar who tells Jesus he knows he’s commanded to love his neighbor as much as he loves himself but professes not to understand who his neighbor is.  Without actually reciting the parable of the man who’s ambushed on Jericho Road and then revived and rescued by […]

COMMENTARY

Louisiana’s Steve Scalise is 7 months late promoting COVID-19 vaccines | Jarvis DeBerry

By: - July 30, 2021

Approximately 210 days after Congressional leaders became eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Pfizer; roughly 200 days after 41-year-old Representative-elect Luke Letlow died of COVID-19; 124 days after every Louisianian 16 and up could be inoculated and four months after the 10,000th Louisianian died of COVID-19, Republican House Whip Steve Scalise had himself […]

COMMENTARY

In pushing a transgender sports ban, Louisiana Republicans manufactured a war and lost it | Jarvis DeBerry

By: - July 23, 2021

While it may have been true during Tip O’Neil’s time that “All politics is local,” it’s been 34 years since he served as Speaker of the U.S. House and 27 years since he died.  With the dominance of talk radio and cable news networks and the central role social media plays in our lives, we […]

Only 45% of staff at Louisiana’s nursing homes are fully vaccinated

By: and - July 19, 2021

Gov. John Bel Edwards and Louisiana health officials have been engaged in an all-out public relations campaign to convince skeptical Louisianians that COVID-19 is deadly, that the new Delta variant is even more infectious and that vaccination against the novel coronavirus is a proven method of avoiding life-threatening illness and death. Their campaign has included […]

COMMENTARY

Denying systemic racism exists and enacting racist policies go hand-in-hand | Jarvis DeBerry

By: - July 16, 2021

As the Louisiana House argued this past session about whether systemic racism even exists, there was a one-on-one debate on the Senate floor between Sen. Barrow Peacock (R- Shreveport) and Sen. Katrina Jackson (D-Monroe) on whether people convicted of gun crimes as juveniles should have those records used against them if they’re caught in possession […]

Edwin Edwards, who died Monday at 93, is praised by Louisiana politicians

By: - July 12, 2021

Politicians from across Louisiana’s political spectrum expressed their condolences Monday following the news that Edwin Edwards, Acadiana’s political superstar who served four terms as Louisiana governor and eight years in federal prison for corruption, died early that morning at 93. The news of the former governor’s death was announced by the family in a written […]

COMMENTARY

Louisiana is a safer place for Big Oil than Louisianians | Jarvis DeBerry

By: - July 9, 2021

Rep. Danny McCormick’s attempt during the Louisiana Legislature’s session to have Louisiana designated a “fossil fuel sanctuary state” would never have passed constitutional muster. The state can’t just up and decide that its laws take priority over the country’s. But in calling out the absurdity of the Oil City Republican’s legislation, there’s a chance that […]

COMMENTARY

Science catches up to what residents of Louisiana’s ‘Cancer Alley’ have been saying about pollution | Jarvis DeBerry

By: - July 2, 2021

If you’re ever inclined to describe how healthy you are, you’d do well to remember that the world is bigger than Louisiana and that you could simultaneously be better off than the average person here and worse than the average person in the U.S. Consider the debate about whether the communities along the Mississippi River […]

COMMENTARY

What, to the Republican, is the nineteenth of June? | Jarvis DeBerry

By: - June 18, 2021

The headline above pays homage to one of the most powerful and brilliant speeches in American history. Frederick Douglass, the 19th century’s most eloquent abolitionist, was asked to speak at an Independence Day celebration in Rochester, New York, on July 5, 1852, and he asked his White audience a most provocative question: “What, to the […]

COMMENTARY

The tax breaks for jobs scheme isn’t working out for Louisiana | Jarvis DeBerry

By: - June 18, 2021

You, I and every other American taxpayer helped out Marathon Petroleum during the worst of the pandemic. Then, the same year it secured its $2.1 billion in federal tax benefits — the most of any U.S. oil company — Marathon let go almost 1,920 employees. The “reductions,” to use Marathon’s word, included 45 workers at […]

Louisiana colleges and universities have out-of-date Title IX policies, attorney says

By: and - June 17, 2021

In August, the U.S. Department of Education began implementing new Title IX rules by which all schools that receive federal dollars must abide by. That means Louisiana’s Title IX policies are out of date, an attorney asked to conduct a comprehensive review of Louisiana’s public higher education campuses told the Louisiana Board of Regents Wednesday. […]