Environmental Injustice: How Contamination of Water, Air, and Land Constitutes Violence Against Black Communities
Flint, Michigan gained international attention during the past five years because of a water crisis in which residents were consuming contaminated drinking water. In White Hall, Alabama residents are exposed to raw sewage because basic sanitation is not affordable. An area of Saint James Parish in Louisiana is known as Cancer Alley because the concentration of petrochemical plants there causes such high rates of the disease among that area’s residents. All three of these areas are predominantly Black. Black Americans are among those who suffer the greatest harm from industrial contamination of the water, air, and land. This ongoing violence targets Black and Indigenous communities in particular. It is a continuation of violence and plunder that began hundreds of years ago.
Mark Williams is an editor, essayist, and journalist with a career focused on public policy and its consequences. His work frequently examines how policy decisions reflect historical and ongoing racial and economic injustice. Mark was a senior editor at Bloomberg Industry and at BNA in the decades before it was acquired by Bloomberg. Prior to that, Mark was a staff writer at the St. Petersburg Times, in the years before it became the Tampa Bay Times. Mark began his career as a staff writer at the Associated Press. Mark’s M.A. is in journalism and public affairs from American University and his B.A. is in sociology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
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