Why are African Americans so underrepresented when it comes to interest in nature, outdoor recreation, and environmentalism? In this thought-provoking study, Carolyn Finney looks beyond the discourse of the environmental justice movement to examine how the natural environment has been understood, commodified, and represented by both white and black Americans. Bridging the fields of environmental history, cultural studies, critical race studies, and geography, Finney argues that the legacies of slavery, Jim Crow, and racial violence have shaped cultural understandings of the "great outdoors" and determined who should and can have access to natural spaces. Drawing on a variety of sources from film, literature, and popular culture, and analyzing different historical moments, including the establishment of the Wilderness Act in 1964 and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Finney reveals the perceived and real ways in which nature and the environment are racialized in America. Looking toward the future, she also highlights the work of African Americans who are opening doors to greater participation in environmental and conservation concerns.
Author: Dianne D. Glave
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Pre
Release Date: 2005-12
Genre: Social Science
An analysis of the relationship between African Americans and the environment focuses on three major themes: African Americans in the rural environment, African Americans in the urban and suburban environments, and African Americans and the notion of environmental justice.
Author: Camille T. Dungy
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Release Date: 2009
Black Nature is the first anthology to focus on nature writing by African American poets, a genre that until now has not commonly been counted as one in which African American poets have participated. Black poets have a long tradition of incorporating treatments of the natural world into their work, but it is often read as political, historical, or protest poetry--anything but nature poetry. This is particularly true when the definition of what constitutes nature writing is limited to work about the pastoral or the wild. Camille T. Dungy has selected 180 poems from 93 poets that provide unique perspectives on American social and literary history to broaden our concept of nature poetry and African American poetics. This collection features major writers such as Phillis Wheatley, Rita Dove, Yusef Komunyakaa, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sterling Brown, Robert Hayden, Wanda Coleman, Natasha Trethewey, and Melvin B. Tolson as well as newer talents such as Douglas Kearney, Major Jackson, and Janice Harrington. Included are poets writing out of slavery, Reconstruction, the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Arts Movement, and late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century African American poetic movements. Black Nature brings to the fore a neglected and vital means of considering poetry by African Americans and nature-related poetry as a whole. A Friends Fund Publication.
Author: Dianne D. Glave
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Release Date: 2010-08-01
With a basis in environmental history, this groundbreaking study challenges the idea that a meaningful attachment to nature and the outdoors is contrary to the black experience. The discussion shows that contemporary African American culture is usually seen as an urban culture, one that arose out of the Great Migration and has contributed to international trends in fashion, music, and the arts ever since. But because of this urban focus, many African Americans are not at peace with their rich but tangled agrarian legacy. On one hand, the book shows, nature and violence are connected in black memory, especially in disturbing images such as slave ships on the ocean, exhaustion in the fields, dogs in the woods, and dead bodies hanging from trees. In contrast, though, there is also a competing tradition of African American stewardship of the land that should be better known. Emphasizing the tradition of black environmentalism and using storytelling techniques to dramatize the work of black naturalists, this account corrects the record and urges interested urban dwellers to get back to the land.
Author: Sylvia Hood Washington
Release Date: 2017-06-23
Genre: Social Science
Sylvia Hood Washingtons Packing Them In provides strong and often startling evidence of the depths and complexities of environmental racism in Chicago, and offers an innovative historical explanation for how this social ill developed in nineteenth and twentieth century America. Drawing from Michel Foucaults concept of power/knowledge and from theories of racial formation, Washington also demonstrates how the process through which some European immigrant groups were reclassified from non-white to white over time, allowed them to move out of spaces where they faced environmental injustice into spaces of environmental privilege. This argument represents a significant contribution to environmental justice studies and suggests a comparative and relational ethnic studies approach to future treatments of the subject. Packing Them In is a path breaking book and a welcome addition to the fields of environmental history and environmental justice studies (David Naguib Pellow, Dehlsen professor of Environmental Studies, University of California Santa Barbara, and author of Garbage Wars: The Struggle for Environmental Justice in Chicago). A pathbreaking book. Sylvia Hood Washington uses Chicago as a case study of how human health inequalities in urban environments change over time. In showing the ways white identity shaped exposure to environmental pollutants in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, she provides historical context to the environmental racism identified in the United States in the late twentieth century. Packing Them In is instructive for those seeking to understand the structural origins of the present struggle for environmental justice, and a model for undertaking studies of urban environmental history that address the struggle. This model remains as important today as it was when Packing Them In was first published (Carl Zimring, associate professor and coordinator of the Sustainability Studies, Pratt Institute, and author of Clean and White: A History of Environmental Racism). Packing Them In is a path-breaking book that is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding how the social, political, and economic dimensions of urban environmental issues evolve over time. Packing Them In makes a significant contribution to the environmental justice literature as it challenges the notion that racism and inequalities arise solely from black-white dynamics. By using history to understand the evolution of racial and spatial dynamics and by embedding the work in Michel Foucault theoretical framework of power and knowledge, Washington demonstrates the importance of expanding traditional environmental justice frameworks in the analysis of case studies such as these (Dorceta E. Taylor, James E. Crowfoot, collegiate professor of the University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and Environment).
Author: James Edward Mills
Publisher: Mountaineers Books
Release Date: 2014-09-24
Genre: Sports & Recreation
• Chronicles the first all-African American summit attempt on Denali, the highest point in North America • Part adventure story, part history, and part argument for the importance of inspiring future generations to value nature The nation’s wild places—from national and state parks to national forests, preserves, and wilderness areas—belong to all Americans. But not all of us use these resources equally. Minority populations are much less likely to seek recreation, adventure, and solace in our wilderness spaces. It’s a difference that African American author James Mills addresses in his new book, The Adventure Gap: Changing the Face of the Outdoors. Bridging the so-called “adventure gap” requires role models who can inspire the uninitiated to experience and enjoy wild places. Once new visitors are there, a love affair often follows. This is important because as our country grows increasingly multicultural, our natural legacy will need the devotion of people of all races and ethnicities to steward its care. In 2013, the first all-African American team of climbers, sponsored by the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), challenged themselves on North America’s highest point, the dangerous and forbidding Denali, in Alaska. Mills uses Expedition Denali and its team members’ adventures as a jumping-off point to explore how minority populations view their place in wild environments and to share the stories of those who have already achieved significant accomplishments in outdoor adventures—from Mathew Henson, a Black explorer who stood with Peary at the North Pole, to Kai Lightner, a teenage sport climber currently winning national competitions. The goal of the expedition, and now the book, is to inspire minority communities to look outdoors for experiences that will enrich their lives, and to encourage them toward greater environmental stewardship.
Drawing on theories of sublimity, trauma, and ecocriticism, this book examines how the often sharp division between European American and African American experiences of the natural world developed in American culture and history, and how those natural experiences, in turn, shaped the construction of race.
Author: Kimberly K. Smith
Release Date: 2007
Examines the works of Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, and several other canonical figures, to uncover a rich and vital tradition of black environmental thought from the abolition movement through the Harlem Renaissance. Provides the first careful linkage of the early conservation movement to black history, the first detailed description of black agrarianism, and the first analysis of scientific racism as an environmental theory.
Author: Marguerite S. Shaffer
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Release Date: 2015-07-31
As global demand for resources both necessary and unnecessary increases, understanding how nature and culture are interconnected matters more than ever. Bridging the fields of environmental history and American studies, the essays in this collection examine the surprising interconnections between nature and culture in distinct places, times and contexts over the course of American history.
Dudley Edmondson believes it is critical for people of color to get involved in nature conservation. He sought out 20 African Americans with connections to nature. The result is a compelling look at issues important to the future of public lands.
Author: Anita Hill
Publisher: Beacon Press
Release Date: 2011-10-04
Genre: Social Science
From the heroic lawyer who spoke out against Clarence Thomas in the historic confirmation hearings twenty years ago At the historic Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, Anita Hill spoke out courageously about workplace sexual harassment. Now she turns to the topic of home. As our country reels from the subprime mortgage meltdown and the resulting devastation of so many families and communities, Hill takes us inside this “crisis of home” and exposes its deep roots in race and gender inequities, which continue to imperil every American’s ability to achieve the American Dream. In this period of recovery and its aftermath, what is at stake is the inclusive democracy the Constitution promises. The achievement of that ideal, Hill argues, depends on each American’s ability to secure a place that provides access to every opportunity our country offers. Building on the great strides of the women’s and civil rights movements, Hill presents concrete proposals that encourage us to broaden our thinking about home and to reimagine equality for America’s future. From the Hardcover edition.
We are facing unprecedented environmental challenges, including global climate change, large-scale industrial development, rapidly increasing species extinction, ocean acidification, and deforestation – challenges that require new vocabularies and new ways to express grief and sorrow over the disappearance, degradation, and loss of nature. Seeking to redress the silence around ecologically based anxiety in academic and public domains, and to extend the concepts of sadness, anger, and loss, Mourning Nature creates a lexicon for the recognition and expression of emotions related to environmental degradation. Exploring the ways in which grief is experienced in numerous contexts, this groundbreaking collection draws on classical, philosophical, artistic, and poetic elements to explain environmental melancholia. Understanding that it is not just how we mourn but what we mourn that defines us, the authors introduce new perspectives on conservation, sustainability, and our relationships with nature. An ecological elegy for a time of climatic and environmental upheaval, Mourning Nature challenges readers to turn devastating events into an opportunity for positive change. Contributors include Glenn Albrecht (Murdoch University, retired); Jessica Marion Barr (Trent University); Sebastian Braun (University of North Dakota); Ashlee Cunsolo (Labrador Institute of Memorial University); Amanda Di Battista (York University); Franklin Ginn (University of Edinburgh); Bernie Krause (soundscape ecologist, author, and independent scholar); Lisa Kretz (University of Evansville); Karen Landman (University of Guelph); Patrick Lane (Poet); Andrew Mark (independent scholar); Nancy Menning (Ithaca College); John Charles Ryan (University of New England); Catriona Sandilands (York University); and Helen Whale (independent scholar).