Legacies links for August 15, 2022: teaching about slavery, environmental racism, other recent scholarship

Princeville, NC, was one of the first communities settled by freedpeople—and now might be swallowed by floods. source: WRAL News

As always, we encourage you to share this posting. A link does not imply agreement or endorsement by the Council of Independent Colleges.

Weekly links:

  • Stephanie Coontz, “Op-Ed: American history is a parade of horrors—and also heroes,” Los Angeles Times (August 14, 2022): LINK. Coontz was a contributor to The 1619 Project. Here she argues that “the shameful institution of slavery must loom large in any honest account of American history. But so should the struggle of both Black and white abolitionists to end that institution.”
  • Lisa A. Monroe, “The Long Debate Over Critical Race Theory,” Black Perspectives (August 12, 2022): LINK. Monroe discusses the pioneering work of education researcher Gloria Ladson-Billings, who began to apply CRT to education in the 1990s.
  • Nigel Roberts, “How Descendants of James Madison’s Montpelier’s Enslaved Gained Shared Governance of Historic Plantation,” BET (August 10, 2022): LINK.
  • Heather Leah, “‘Environmental racism’: First town incorporated by Black families freed from slavery sits in major NC flood plain,” WRAL (August 10, 2022): LINK.

Some recent scholarship (may require a subscription to read):

  • Matthew Ward, “Enduring Consequences of Dehumanizing Institutions: Slavery and Contemporary Minority Social Control in the U.S. Northeast and South,” Social Problems (April 2022): https://doi.org/10.1093/socpro/spac021. The author “argue[s] that as a result of slavery’s influence on local legal apparatuses and institutions of social control—in areas in the South and Northeast where slave dependence was greater—law enforcement today is less likely to protect minorities, resulting in higher rates of hate crime underreporting by police.”
  • Johneisha Batiste, “Being Black Causes Cancer: Cancer Alley and Environmental Racism” (April 2022), available at SSRN: http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4092077. “‘Cancer Alley’ refers to an 85-mile stretch of land along the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge to New Orleans where 150 petrochemical plants are intentionally emitting harmful carcinogens in these communities due to residents being Black and politically powerless.” Describes efforts to fight and repair this stretch.
  • Sara Shostak, “‘When you heal the soil…’: Environmental racism and socioecological repair in contemporary urban agriculture,” Environmental Sociology (May 2022): https://doi.org/10.1080/23251042.2022.2073626. Interviews with urban farmers and gardeners “highlight[s] how racialized social processes—including redlining, blockbusting, white flight and disinvestment—have harmed the health of both people and the environment in urban communities of color.”