Description - Polluted Promises by Melissa Checker
Over the past two decades, environmental racism has become the rallying cry for whole communities - African American, urban, and poor - as they discover that they are contaminated by toxic chemicals and industrial waste. 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 including three factories and two junkyards, is struggling to make their voices heard and their community safe again. For the past twelve years, the residents have been battling for compensation from the industries, which they say have ruined their homes and health. These residents, many of them veterans of the civil rights movement, now have a new battle: environmental justice. In Polluted Promises, Checker argues that Hyde Park stands for many other African American and other poor and minority communities, especially but not exclusively in the South.
Hyde Park 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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(229mm x 152mm x mm)
New York University Press
Publisher: New York University Press
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Author Biography - Melissa Checker
Melissa Checker is assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Memphis. She is the co-editor of Local Actions: Cultural Activism, Power and Public Life.