Hurricane Isaac is seen churning in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana in this NASA handout satellite image taken on August 28, 2012. REUTERS/NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response/Handout (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENVIRONMENT) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNSHurricane Isaac spared New Orleans biblical floods which befell neighboring parishes.
That’s not to say we were spared entirely.

Most working class New Orleanians have been without power for five days. The same for jobs- many of which have been closed due to the storm.

While her buildings remain intact New Orleans has a number of under-employed; un- employed and homeless people without resources. The fact that Mayor Landrieu nor Governor Jindal uttered a word nor floated one press release about this quiet crisis speaks volumes.
One can hope that Isaac inspired earlier-than usual September food stamp and cash benefit allotments aren’t the only state response to this matter.
 What about those without work or entitlements- not to mention pre-Isaac shelter?

 Regarding the city of New Orleans, a plan for sheltering the homeless during Isaac wasn’t announced to my knowledge.
Nor tweeted.
Nor blogged.
Not even mentioned off-the-record to the media pool.
It seems our mayor doesn’t recognize the working poor nor homeless as worthy of official notice.
Therefore liked stunned soldiers stumbling from bomb shelters after an air raid they are left to fend for themselves. left hanging by their municipal government.
Has so much changed since Katrina seven years ago?

Nadra Enzi
NADRA ENZI AKA CAP BLACK, BLACK LIFE SUPERHERO FOR EVERYBODY! promotes creative crime prevention. (504) 214-3082 and [email protected]…



RLSH: Soaking Up The Oil Spill

The Gulf Oil Spill is yet another potential call to action for the real life superhero ( RLSH ) Movement.
Our inspirational input could help break a frustrated mindset unhappy with British Petroleum and the federal government. Generational poverty; Katrina and the Recession haven’t broken New Orleans spirit.
Losing their worldclass seafood could push things over the tipping point.
That said, colorful spokespersons for blame-free team work could help mobilize a mass volunteer response beneficial to all concerned. The Spill threatens the local and national economy in a highly visible way. Degrees in economics are unnecessary to grasp its impact.
The learning curve is as simple as starvation or self-sufficiency for all effected.
RLSH can call attention to the already discussed volunteer option.
Deploying properly trained and equipped citizens can eventually turn the tide on this mother of all eco-disasters. America is financially ruined and civic action can help pave the road to distant recovery. The Depression was ended by such a public/private partnership.
Todays question is whether the current government, corporate culture and public can rise to this particularly ugly occasion?
It’s not a simple matter of can a handful of costumed activists really save the day? Looming over this consideration is yet another epic setback that will punish millions who can ill afford another colossal failure.
That scraping sound in the near future is the bottom of the imaginary well holding ” limitless ”
play money. That’s a sound few want America to hear.
With stakes like these can anyone say using costumed activists might not speed soaking up this oil spill?
NADRA ENZI AKA CAPT. BLACK promotes crime prevention and self-development.

Real-Life Superheroes – out of the comics onto the streets

There is a growing number of people serving their community. They dress and act like superheroes even though they don’t have any superpowers, they have one advantage over their comic-book idols, they are real!
These low-profile but visually arresting altruists go by such names as Fox Fire, Black Arrow, Polar Man, Civitron, and Knight Owl. They design their own costumes, ranging from outlandish all-in-one latex suits to motorcycle gear. They call themselves Real Life Superheroes, or Reals for short and they are united by a goal to make the world a better, safer place.
According to Chaim Lazaros, a film student by day and a Real-Life Superhero by the name of ‘Life’ by night, the movement is not entirely new: “We’ve seen several waves of activity among people calling themselves Real Life Superheroes for almost thirty years. I personally know some who have been doing it for twenty years. After the September 11 attacks and thanks to social networking sites on the internet there has been a resurgence of the superhero movement. There are currently about 250 active Reals all over the world.”
The enthusiasm for the US-based movement knows no borders and the causes the Reals adopt are as varied as the personas they assume. Super Barrio hails from Mexico where, rather than fight crime, he uses his image of red tights and matching wrestler’s mask to organise labour rallies, protests and file petitions. Ireland’s Captain Ozone conducts his environmental activism while dressed in a light blue body suit, complete with cape, while Canada’s Polar Man concerns himself with shovelling snow from the old people’s driveways, entertaining children and prowling the streets at nights keeping an eye out for vandals.

It may not exactly be glamourous work but it is conducted with a sense of style and panache that lifts the hearts of those being helped. In these times of economic hardship, when the world is looking at new leaders like heroes the Real-Life Superheroes are quietly but colourfully going about their business. They are helping stranded motorists, volunteering at soup kitchens and homeless shelters, participating in blood drives and fighting crime when the opportunity arises.

Chaim Lazaros was trying to organise the first ever meeting of all the active Reals two years ago when he got his calling: “I was trying to find as many Reals as possible to get them all together in one place. Originally, I was just wanted to make a movie and tell their story. It was an awful lot of hard work and once, in a moment of prayer, I realised through all my actions I was doing something that was aiding the community. I fell under what ‘Entomo the Insect-Man’ classifies as a community crusader, I realised that it was true and on the day the gathering finally happened I declared myself as Life and I dawned my mask for the first time.”
Since that day, Chaim has been making nightly patrols in his New York neighbourhood as Life. His uniform is street friendly: black trousers, black waistcoat, hat and eye mask. He freely admits his work is not exactly the stuff of comic-book storylines, there is no fighting villains and capturing criminals: “I realised that walking around in a uniform you don’t get to see bank robbers running out of banks with the alarms going off and purse snatchers that you have to punch in the face. But you do see a lot of homeless people. I started stocking up on water-bottles, grain bars, socks, vitamins and blankets. I would go out and interact with the homeless, bringing them things they may need and offering them a kind word.”
Chaim’s voluntary community work is not the only super-Samaritan endeavour carried out by the Real-Life Superheroes. In fact, the majority of what they do is community based. Chaim was part of a group that included Reals named Civitron and The Black Ghost that organised a trip to New Orleans to help with the fall out of Hurricane Katrina. They cleaned out, painted and repaired a school gym that was being used as a donations warehouse for victims of Katrina. Their work was noticed and duly rewarded by authorities when October 13 was declared ‘Day of Superheroes’.
If there is one thing we can learn from the comic-book legends, it’s that Superheroes usually have one weakness. For Chaim that weakness is a lack of defence training. He has had a couple of hairy moments while out patrolling, including an incident where he was held up with a broken bottle, that could have turned out worse. It makes his nightly patrols all the more dangerous for him. However, one Real that isn’t an issue for is Dark Guardian.
Chris Pollak, aka Dark Guardian, is a martial arts teacher by day and a black and red leather-clad Real by night. He explains his reason for becoming a Real-Life Superhero: “I’ve been doing this around six years. I started off without a costume, just going out doing a neighbourhood patrol, making sure everything was safe and everyone was good, it kind of evolved as it went along. I decided to pick up a costume and become a symbol, to try to become a really vibrant person to get a message to people that there is a hero in everyone and you can go out and make a difference.”
“I was always into comic books,” he continues. “I loved superheroes in my childhood and I never had real role models in my life. I always looked up to these characters and their ideals and I decided one day to make these ideals a reality. Now, I’m out doing it!”
Dark Guardian is also mostly concerned with homeless outreach and helping those that need it most. Along with Life, he also visits hospitals, in character, to bring presents to the sick children there. You would think that the work is laudable but sometimes some people don’t see it the same way.
“A lot of times you get mixed reactions. If I actually get the chance to talk to someone about it they are very receptive. Some love it, some think the costumes are a bit much but generally they understand we are doing good. People who don’t know about us or have bad misconceptions just think we are crazy!”
It’s a shame to think that in some quarters, including the media, the wrong perception of these do-gooders is portrayed. The Reals do their good work in their own time and at their own risk. It’s generally thankless work and if they want to dress up while doing it then that should be their prerogative.
Both Life and Dark Guardian hope their message of community work gets across. They hope that the number of Reals worldwide grows as more people are inspired by their acts.
“All it takes to be a Real-Life Superhero is to take on an iconic persona and go out and do some public good,” says Dark Guardian.
“We continue to inspire others to become Real Life Superheroes or get involved in their communities in other ways,” is the message from Life.
Community service has never been alluring. Voluntary work, by its very nature, usually attracts only the most altruistic people. The Real-Life Superheroes may raise eyes or generate sneers with the costumes they wear and the names they answer to, but their decency and hard work cannot be ignored, rather, it should be embraced. In a world where superheroes like Batman and Spiderman only exist on movie screens or in books these guys are the next best thing.
Ciaran Walsh for RT

New Orleans resident inspires citizens

By Jake Clapp

Entertainment writer

Deep in the heart of New Orleans, a being lurks — part man, part ghost. It waits to overcome evil and save its home from the predators that would do the city wrong.

He is The Black Ghost, and the night belongs to him.

Many children — and even some adults — dream of being superheroes. But Will Warner is as close as it gets.

Warner, a 42-year-old counselor, filmmaker and teacher at Delgado Community College in New Orleans, created The Black Ghost in 1998 while in the Navy.

He used it as a way to pass the time by creating film shorts and comic strips.

Warner returned from his service in the Navy shortly before Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005.

“Around the time of Katrina, I saw the violence and hurt throughout the city, and I knew that I could create something to give to the people to give them hope,” Warner said. “Growing up I had heroes like the Lone Ranger, the Green Hornet and the Shadow, and I knew that kids these days don’t have the same type of heroes with the same type of values to look up to.”

People watch the movies and read the comic books and imagine just what it would be like to be Spiderman, Batman or Superman, and wish that they could have the power to jump buildings in a single bound or hang upside down from a web.

To many, though, the superhero is much more than just heroic powers and spandex costumes. It is a symbol representing peace, hope, protection and the ability to change the world.

“It’s difficult to make any kind of generalization about the meaning of the superhero,” said Brannon Costello, English assistant professor. “An appealing element of the superhero is that it is densely packed with meaning and significance.”

For years, this symbol was something people would find only in a comic book, movie or television show, but recently hundreds of people have begun to take it to the streets.

In just the past few years a grassroots movement has formed called the Real Life Superhero Community.

Men and women across the country make their own costumes and head out into their communities to serve and protect.

Their Web site,, has a full roster of male and female superheroes across the country.

Some heroes, such as Master Legend of Orlando, Fla., go out and patrol their neighborhood streets in search of crime; others seek to change the world by actively showing life can be different through hard work.

Warner took his character and developed it into a real superhero the kids of New Orleans could follow.

Starting out with a digital camera and a laptop, Warner set out to create the first episodes of The Black Ghost television series to air on a public access channel.

Since those first days in 2005, The Black Ghost has grown into a full production with the help of 30 volunteers.

Warner constantly works side by side with the New Orleans Police Department to raise public safety awareness.

Through his social work with kids and teenagers, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin named The Black Ghost the official New Orleans superhero and an Ambassador of Hope for the city.

Warner stays busy, as he and his non-profit production company continue to shoot The Black Ghost and planning a workshop that allows high school seniors to earn college credit by working on The Black Ghost set.

“I’ll know that my work has meant something when I can see kids with blankets tied on run around the yard pretending like they are superheroes, like I did as a kid,” Warner said. “When you go about it the right way, a superhero is a symbol of hope and society. That is all I want The Black Ghost to be.”


Contact Jake Clapp at [email protected]

Tales of the Black Ghost

blackghostIan McNulty
By day, Will Warner is a counselor at Delgado Community College. But at night, this 42-year-old father of two often assumes the secret identity of the Black Ghost, a New Orleans superhero on a mission to revive the values of compromise, compassion and nonviolent conflict resolution.
That secret identity is becoming better known thanks to the series of The Black Ghost programs making the rounds on the Internet. The shows follow the adventures of a local man who gains superhuman powers and the ability to stop crime.
“People my age remember the characters they grew up watching, like the Green Hornet or the Lone Ranger and they still remember what those characters stood for; good guys didn’t hurt people,” says Warner. “In 2008, who do we have embodying those values? We’re trying to go back to basics with family entertainment.”
Warner first came up with the idea for the Black Ghost while he was serving in the Navy. After witnessing the surge of street crime that has followed Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, he decided to introduce his character and see if he could make a difference for young children who might not have positive role models in their lives.
With virtually no budget but plenty of volunteer help from fellow mental health professionals and local actors, Warner has produced eight episodes of The Black Ghost, set and filmed in locations New Orleans children can identify as home turf.
“We talk about rebuilding our city after Katrina and that can come in many different forms,” says Warner. “We want to bring kids and parents into the living room together to watch a show and actually talk about the decisions that were portrayed.”
Warner proudly points out that while his character fights for justice, he doesn’t throw punches or deliver kicks. In one episode, for example, when a pair of drug dealers threatens the Black Ghost with knives our hero responds by pulling out a flute, which he uses to put his would-be assailants under mind control.
“The point for kids is that even if you have access to a weapon, you don’t have to use it. You can use your head and resolve a conflict without violence,” says Warner.
“As a counselor, I know how powerful the archetype of the superhero can be, because it inspires. Kids can look at this character and see that he gets the job done without violence.”
The show’s eighth episode should be online this month. To see episodes of The Black Ghost, visit

Public Service With a Side of Spandex

By Delphine Schrank
Washington Post Staff Writer

Beltway traffic marooned the roast turkeys, but that didn’t stop a dynamic duo of world-saving, justice-championing, despair-fighting masked crusaders — one with red cape aflutter — from charging down the streets of the capital yesterday, dispensing Chinese-takeout cartons of corn bread, dressing and green beans to homeless people.
Yes, superheroes are alive and well.
Be not fooled. This is no tryptophan mirage. Nor is this a post-prandial attempt to take refuge from a feast-induced family feud by diving into an old Marvel comic book.
On a day when area nonprofit groups and armies of the charitable assisted the needy by distributing food or hosting Thanksgiving dinners in shelters, members of the all-volunteer Capital City Super Squad ventured out in their trademark disguises, each representing an invented superhero alter ego. Their mission: bringing smiles to the faces of many a homeless person as they proffered cartons of home-cooked fare.
That blur of red-and-white lycra brandishing a plastic fork who you could’ve sworn dashed by your window yesterday? That’s Captain Prospect. The one with a pair of scales emblazoned in scarlet felt across her chest? Justice. Sworn members of the six-person Super Squad, the pair sacrificed family mealtime to do what they do: do-gooding. Sometimes that means circulating abuse-awareness pamphlets, but most often it means cooking and handing out food.
“Do you need a box, sir?” asked Prospect, a 31-year-old who allowed a reporter to tag along on the condition of anonymity, citing a possible compromise of his secret identity. He pulled a carton from a Whole Foods bag, as Justice, a.k.a. Jasmine Modoor, handed over napkin and fork.
Quotidian reality, however, sometimes imposes its limits.
“The poultry delivery didn’t make it because of traffic,” Prospect said, his cape flapping behind him as he leaned on a marble statue in front of Union Station. Nice Ninja, another squad member, was meant to provide the turkeys and chicken but was caught in a Beltway tangle for an hour, so Captain Prospect told him not to bother.
“See, your costume is very cute, but he’s scaring me,” said Anthony Jackson, 41, laughing as he accepted a carton from Justice. Jackson, who sat on a bench at I and Sixth streets in a handout jacket with the price tag still hanging from the sleeve, has been homeless for 18 months, he said, since he and his wife separated. “My life hasn’t been right since,” he said. He’d eaten in a shelter yesterday, but the carton was most welcome, he said.
“It beats what I’ve had all day. Nothing,” said Samuel Sterling, 52, on the bottle-littered mound of grass between Massachusetts Avenue and H Street where he had slept the previous night. As he plunged into the green beans, Sterling said he had worked as a handyman in New Orleans until Hurricane Katrina destroyed everything. He made his way up to the District and sleeps where he can, he said.
“Hey y’all, I like your outfit!” he called as the duo bounded off.
Dozens of others sitting on walls or benches silently nodded their thanks. But others politely declined the offer.
“I don’t want a handout. I want a hand up” to find a job, said Bernard Hamilton, 51, a former Marine who regularly sleeps on the marble wall in front of Union Station.
If they only had real superpowers, Captain Prospect and Justice said, they know they could do so much more. Prospect, who works weekdays in social services, would opt for invulnerability. Justice, a first-year student at Howard University’s law school, would choose foresight. Her superhero identity conveys her desire to one day practice law as a social engineer, rather than a “parasite,” she said.
Last summer, Modoor was planning her move to the District for school and browsing Craigslist for furniture when she stumbled on a notice from Captain Prospect calling for volunteers.
“I thought it was a very unique way to approach community service,” Justice said.
Captain Prospect, whose business card identifies him as “the Washington DC Superhero,” dreams of building up the network to a dozen active superheroes and applying for nonprofit status so the group can stop paying out of pocket and fund more ambitious projects.
Meanwhile, he said, “There really isn’t any good reason someone can’t put on a costume and do good deeds like a superhero.”