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A Land Cursed by Injustice: The Roots of African American Environmentalism

Kimberly K. Smith traces the ideological origins of the environmental justice movement in the environmental philosophies of Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, and other leaders of the early civil rights movement. This talk draws on the main themes of her book African American Environmental Thought: Foundations, which explores how nineteenth- and early twentieth-century African American writers conceptualized and addressed the relationship between racial injustice, disinvestment in African American neighborhoods, and alienation from the land. Smith brings this conversation up to the current century with a discussion of Alice Walker’s social and environmental ethic.

Recorded Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at DePaul University.

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