23 December 2009

dianne glave's rooted in the earth

Dianne D. Glave's Rooted in the Earth: Reclaiming the African American Environmental Heritage is due out August 2010.

According to the Independent Publishing Group:

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.

Glave is also the coeditor of To Love the Wind and the Rain: African Americans and Environmental History (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005).

16 December 2009

elephants, peta & ringling bros

If Richard Pryor were alive, he would smile and wince after reading David Montgomery's Washington Post article, "PETA, Ringling Bros. at odds over the treatment of baby circus elephants." Pryor was outspoken about the abuse of animals in circuses, serving as a PETA spokesperson on this issue. He would be happy that PETA appears to have solid evidence re Ringling's abuse of baby elephants. And he would wince at the photos of elephants being poked and pulled by Ringling trainers and at the fact that baby elephants are forcibly separated from their mothers.

I am also opposed to the use of animals in circuses and have participated in anti-circus demonstrations.

Read the article and tell me what you think.

15 December 2009

ny 2 dc, by bike!

In April 1928 (no, this is not a typo), Marylou Jackson, Velma Jackson, Ethyl Miller, Leolya Nelson and Constance White, cycled from NY to DC--more than 250 miles--in 3 days! I found the Washington Tribune article about them more than 10 years ago when I was researching my dissertation. I didn't end up putting them in my diss but every couple of years I think of them.

Their wheels are really squeaking in my ears now:

*yesterday, I did a 1-day trip to NYC & back via train
*i saw the tweed ride exactly one month ago
*i have been thinking about cycling again
*we are in the midst of COP 15

you get my drift.

so join me on my research and cycling excursions. share your questions, research ideas, cycling stories, photos, videos. and i will share mine. i hope to have a photo, taken by Addison Scurlock, of the five women soon.

Photo of the Tweed Ride in DC on 15 November 2009 by Evy Mages for the Washington Post.
If anyone knows the person in the photo, please ask her to contact me.

11 December 2009

'mine' tackles dogs, loss & ownership

Filmmaker Geralyn Pezanoski has produced a compelling narrative about the place of dogs during Hurricane Katrina. She follows New Orleans residents who lost dogs and want them back and others who made homes for those lost dogs and don't want to, in turn, lose them. Mine, due out in theaters in January and PBS on 16 February, opens up space for a dialogue about animals, humans, love and ownership.

Check out the trailer.

photo from 9 June 2009 Associated Press article by Michael Kunzelman.

10 December 2009

interview blast from the past

My sister, Tracye McQuirter, and I started blackvegetarians.org ten years ago. Tracye recently received a request for information about a 2004 interview we did with Kristin Candour and Tashee Meadows, co-founders of Justice of All Species (JAS), an animal rights organization run by folks of color. I reread the interview today and wanted to share it with you. Read it here.
And comment here!

09 December 2009

check the weather!

check out checktheweather.net for real-time updates on what diasporic young people have to say about COP 15.

07 December 2009

kari fulton in copenhagen

Kari Fulton, youth campaign coordinator for the Environmental Justice and Climate Change initiative, is attending the United Nations Climate Change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 7-18 December 2009.

Listen to her interview with Michel Martin today.

uncf receives $1.8m green building grant from kresge

The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) recently received a $1.8 million grant from the Kresge Foundation for a green building initiative. UNCF will offer a series of green building learning institutes, technical assistance and mini-grants. The goals of the grant are to increase the number of leed-certified buildings and to encourage presidents to sign the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).

Read the UNCF press release about the grant initiative.

UNCF president, Michael Lomax, spoke with Michele Martin today. Listen below.

06 December 2009

stop going green!

This is what Mike Tidwell, executive director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, advises in a Washington Post editorial today. He argues that "going green" is a largely ineffectual fad. Instead, we should be looking to the strategies and tactics employed by civil rights activists in the 1960s: appealing to morality and instituting laws.

Read it here.

03 December 2009

environmental justice & global citizenship conference

Mansfield, College, in Oxford, England, will host Inter-Disciplinary.Net's 9th Global Conference, "Environmental Justice & Global Citizenship," 11 July to 13 July 2010.

"This inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary conference aims to explore the role of ecology and environmental thinking in the context of contemporary society and international affairs, and assess the implications for our understandings of fairness, justice and global citizenship. ‘Environmental justice’ is conceived broadly as reflecting not only justice in the context of human communities but also towards other species, ecosystems, habitats, landscapes, succeeding generations and the environment as a whole. ‘Global citizenship’ is understood as an awareness of individual’s relative responsibilities in the global context. Within this framework the 9th Global Conference on Environmental Justice and Global Citizenship will explicitly explore the role of science and technology in achieving sustainability."

Abstracts are due 15 January 2010.

click here for more information

02 December 2009

going green from the black perspective conference

Stony Brook University, in Stony Brook, NY, is hosting, "Going Green from the Black Perspective: The Significance of Environmental Issues in the Black Community," a one-day conference, on 25 February 2010.

The conference will explore the multiple ways that activists, scholars, agriculturalists, and politicians respond to environmental issues that impact African Americans. Conference organizers are especially interested in the following topics:

*impact of toxic dump sites in urban communities
*green initiatives from the grassroots level to the international stage
*relationships between environmentalism and activism
*educating children about the vulnerability of the planet.

Other topics will also be considered.

A 300-word abstract and cv are due by 15 December. Send to Dr. Tracey Walters, twalters@notes.cc.sunysb.edu, or Stony Brook University, Department of Africana Studies, SBS 257, Stony Brook, NY 11794.