Polluted Promises: Environmental Racism and the Search for Justice in a Southern Town

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NYU Press, Aug 1, 2005 - Science - 275 pages
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Association for Humanist Sociology 2007 Book Award co-winner

Julian Steward Award 2006 Runner-Up!

Over the past two decades, environmental racism has become the rallying cry for many communities as they discover the contaminations of toxic chemicals and industrial waste in their own backyards.

Living next door to factories and industrial sites for years, the people in these communities often have record health problems and debilitating medical conditions. Melissa Checker tells the story of one such neighborhood, Hyde Park, in Augusta, Georgia, and the tenacious activism of its two hundred African American families. This community, at one time surrounded by nine polluting industries, is struggling to make their voices heard and their community safe again.

Polluted Promises shows that even in the post-civil rights era, race and class are still key factors in determining the politics of pollution.

 

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Contents

You Can Run but You Cant Hyde
2
Raceing the Environment
14
Old Heads
36
In between the Tracks
40
Strange Fruit
70
From Promised Land to Poisoned Land
75
Foot Soldiers
105
Long Is the Struggle Hard Is the Fight
108
Crossing Murky Waters
153
No Progress without Struggle
182
Methods
192
Getting Involved
202
Notes
210
Bibliography
236
Index
262
Copyright

Staying on Board
149

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Page 15 - Chavis's words, environmental racism includes racial discrimination in environmental policy-making, enforcement of regulations and laws, the deliberate targeting of communities of color for toxic waste disposal and the siting of polluting industries.
Page 15 - It is racial discrimination in the enforcement of regulations and laws. It is racial discrimination in the deliberate targeting of communities of color for toxic waste disposal and the siting of polluting industries. It is racial discrimination in the official sanctioning of the life-threatening presence of poisons and pollutants in communities of color. And, it is racial discrimination in the history of excluding people of color from the mainstream environmental groups, decisionmaking boards, commissions,...
Page 27 - The culture of poverty is both an adaptation and a reaction of the poor to their marginal position in a class-stratified, highly individuated, capitalistic society. It represents an effort to cope with feelings of hopelessness and despair which develop from the realization of the improbability of achieving success in terms of the values and goals of the larger society.
Page 15 - Chavis, environmental racism is . . . racial discrimination in environmental policy-making and the enforcement of regulations and laws, the deliberate targeting of people of color communities for toxic waste facilities, the official sanctioning of the life-threatening presence of poisons and pollutants in our communities, and history of excluding people of color from leadership in the environmental movement.

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About the author (2005)

Melissa Checker teaches in the Department of Urban Studies, Queens College/CUNY. She is co-editor of "Local Actions: Cultural Activism, Power, and Public Life." She is donating all of her proceeds from this book to the Hyde and Aragon Park Improvement Committee.

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