In both practice and policy, the environmental laws that are put into place by world leaders (while they aim to better the environment) often place BIPOC and lower-class communities as an afterthought. Living in towns and cities with a lack of clean water or breathable air, it's been apparent that environmental racism and injustice has existed systemically ever since the movement for environmental justice began in the 1970s. These ten books provide an inside look at the causes, effects, and dangers environmental racism poses on suffering communities in today's world.
In this book, Angelou Ezeilo uncovers the secrets behind the reasons why solving environmental issues are primarily backed by interests that only benefit wealthy, white communities. The discussion about why communities of color are unrecognized in the environmental movement and how businesses, activists, educators, and policymakers can bridge that gap is eye-opening and necessary.
by Julie Sze
Published at the beginning of 2020, Sze discovers in this book what the racial and class divisions in the United States culture say about the environmental movement and those who live among it. Discussions in the wake of Hurricane Marie and environmental justice movements like Standing Rock lined with hope for the future bring this book to life.
When politicians and policymakers began championing for improvement to global climate change policies, were they talking about the communities of color in need? Michael Méndez investigates the answer in a timely story about people, place, and power in regards to climate change and inequality.
A fighter for environmental justice himself, Bullard examines and holds accountable the government strategies and policies that fail to address communities of color in the rural US south, in "dirty" south Los Angeles, and in urban neighborhoods from Brooklyn to Chicago. Who are these policies really protecting?
In this riveting, shocking, and tell-all investigative story, Washington breaks down what's happened to the placement of African-American communities in terms of pollution and climate change across the US, and how the country's politics assault more than just their physical health and environment, but also their existences and minds.
Telling the story of Native peoples, Dina Gilio-Whitaker explores the environmental movement through the lens of "Indigenized environmental justice," highlighting community activism through events like Standing Rock and tracing back to the land they've lost during Colonization.
by Robert D. Bullard
In the follow-up book to Unequal Protection: Environmental Justice and Communities of Color, Bullard gets political and captures the voices of frontline activists to show how government policy isn't truly defending human rights at all.
Environmental historian Dianne D. Glave gives an inside look into African American ancestry and their close ties to the Earth and nature. Discussing how most people are unfamiliar with the culture's rich environmental heritage, she retells stories from Black history that further justify their right to environmental justice just as much as anyone.
by Carl Zimring
Dating back to the time of The Civil War, issues of race and waste in the United States began to counter each other. Carl Zimring explores this travesty and takes historical evidence from statesmen, scholars, and even sanitarians to reveal what fuels the nation's environmental racism.
When it comes to nature, outdoor recreation, and environmentalism, the representation of African Americans is scarce. Finney declares in this book that it's time for that to change. Drawing from film, literature, and popular culture, she discusses African American heritage and those who are paving the way for diversity in the environmental movement.
+ Words: Erica Danielle Garcia, Contributor at Luxiders Magazine
Erica Danielle Garcia is a writer and journalist from Los Angeles whose work explores topics in culture, politics, and representation in music through sociocultural, intersectional, and environmental lenses. Instagram: @ericadanlle