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To Love the Wind and the Rain: African Americans and Environmental History Paperback – December 28, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0822958994 ISBN-10: 0822958996 Edition: 1st
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To Love the Wind and the Rain: African Americans and Environmental History + Rooted in the Earth: Reclaiming the African American Environmental Heritage
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Editorial Reviews


“Filling a major lacuna in the historic literature, Dianne Glave and Mark Stoll capture the depth and breadth of African American encounters with nature. Covering topics from agricultural slavery, to liberation theology, to race riots originating in exclusion from recreational space, this accessible volume is the perfect reader for a course on environment and culture.”
—Susan Bratton, Baylor University

“‘To Love the Wind and the Rain’ is an invaluable book for its insights into environmental and social history, the African-American experience, and how the question of the environment can be understood by examining the lives of women and people of color. It stretches the boundaries of environmental history and places at the center of that field those who have for too long been ignored by environmental and social historians.”
—Robert Gottlieb, Occidental College

"Will help set the course for emerging African American environmental historical scholarship. This collection of essays will enhance not only the existing but also future environmental histriography by including the added and much needed perspectives of race and gender."
--Journal of American Ethnic History

About the Author

Dianne D. Glave is Aron Senior Environmental Research Fellow at the Center for Bioenvironmental Research at Tulane and Xavier Universities.

Mark Stoll is an associate professor of history at Texas Tech University and the author of Protestantism, Capitalism, and Nature in America.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press; 1 edition (December 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822958996
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822958994
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,269,070 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert L. Hendricks on March 8, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Natural resource managers and the environmental community are concerned about the lack of African American participation in natural resource and environment as issues, a profession, or a source of enjoyment. Whether this is actually true is a sensitive subject.

This book is a must read for those looking for the possible historical, economic or cultural reasons African Americas do not participate in natural resources issues, regardless of the environmental justice movement.

Personally, I believe the authors sometime stretch possible links between past culture, economic events or slavery and current attitudes. Regardless of possible stretchs, no one really knows the answer but the book is very helpful in bringing out the factors that probably conspired to produce what we see today.

Answers for how to engage the African community on natural resource or environmental issues will have to overcome deep cultural attitudes, attitudes that took generations to form. One place to start is by reading this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By AfroAmericanHeritage on March 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
It's a popular assumption that black people aren't "environmentalists," but what is meant by this? That black people lack proportional representation in mainstream environmental organizations like the Sierra Club? That black people are more concerned about civil rights than they are about endangered species? That they don't go camping? And if so...why?

American environmental history as a field took shape in the late 1960's, but as this book illustrates, viewing that history through the lens of race or gender is relatively new. This diverse collection of articles by historians, social scientists and environmentalists broadens both our understanding of the word "environment" and the relationship of African Americans to it. For example, historical articles explore how slaves interacted with nature (including hunting, fishing, gardening and working "in the pines" of the turpentine industry), blacks and outdoor recreation, and the "suburban passage." Others address contemporary issues of Environmental Justice, a movement which concerns itself less with wilderness preservation and more with people-centered environmental issues such as the exposure of low-income people to hazardous waste, and the societal forces which make them more likely to be in harm's way. Two articles look specifically at black women's activism during the Progressive Era.

With one or two jargon-heavy exceptions, I think most of the articles will be accessible to lay readers as well as academics. I especially liked Martin V. Melosi's "Environmental Justice, Ecoracism and Environmental History" and Carl Anthony's "Reflections on the Purposes and Meanings of African American Environmental History," the latter of which could serve equally well as an introduction.
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