• Why Blacks Should be Environmentalists

    Carl Anthony
    Dennis Rivers (see profile)
    Architecture, Race, Blacks--Study and teaching, Civil rights
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Environment, Black studies
    Permanent URL:
    (Opening paragraphs, 1980 text) When Martin Luther King decided to raise his voice in opposition to the war in Vietnam,many of his critics told him he ought to stick to domestic issues. He should concentrate on securing civil rights of Blacks in the South, and leave foreign policy to the professionals who knew best. But King decided to oppose the war because he knew it was morally wrong, and because he understood the link between the brutal exploitation and destruction of the Vietnamese people, and the struggle of Blacks and others for justice and freedom in our own land. Today Black leadership, and the Black community face a similar challenge. Every day the newspapers carry stories about the changing atmosphere and climate, threats to the world's water supply, threats to the biodiversity of the rainforest, and the crisis of populations of poor nations growing too fast to be supported by the carrying capacity of their lands. Some environmentalists suggest that in the near future, we will be unable to feed the world's population without radical changes in land ownership, distribution of wealth, and new community decisions about crops and diets. Can Blacks afford to view the social and economic problems of Black American communities in isolation from these global trends?
    Carl Anthony, architect, author and urban/suburban/regional design strategist, is co-founder of the Breakthrough Communities Project in Oakland, California. He has served as Acting Director of the Community and Resource Development Unit at the Ford Foundation, responsible for the Foundation’s world wide programs in fields of Environment and Development, and Community Development. In 1996, he was appointed Fellow at the Institute of Politics, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
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    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
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