African American Environmental Thought

[C]ontrary to conventional wisdom, black Americans have not been indifferent to environmental values; there is, in fact, a rich tradition of black environmental thought.  Du Bois and many other black writers–including Henry Bibb, Martin Delany, Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, George Washington Caver, Alain Locke, Jean Toomer, and Langston Hughes–had a great deal to say about how slavery and racial oppression affected black Americans’ relationship to the land, and their arguments offer valuable insights into humans’ relationship to nature in general.  Their works belong in the canon of American environmentalism.

Kimberly Smith, African American Environmental Thought: Foundations (University Press of Kansas, 2007), p. 3.

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