Packing Them In : An Archaeology of Environmental Racism in Chicago, 1865-1954
This important new book by Sylvia Washington adds a vital new dimension to our understanding of environmental history in the United States. Washington excavates and tells the stories of Chicago's poor, working class, and ethnic minority neighborhoods-such as Back of the Yards and Bronzeville-that suffered disproportionately negative environmental impacts and consequent pollution related health problems. This pioneering work will be essential reading not only for historians, but for urban planners, sociologists, citizen action groups and anyone interested in understanding the precursors to the contemporary environmental justice movement.
- Hardback | 232 pages
- 154.9 x 228.6 x 20.3mm | 385.56g
- 23 Dec 2004
- Lexington Books
- Lanham, MD, United States
Table of contents
Chapter 1 Introduction Part 2 Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Environmental Racism and Environmental Injustice Chapter 3 Social Darwinism, Scientific Racism, and the Birth of the Environmental Leper Chapter 4 An Archaeology of the Modern Environmental Justice Movement Part 5 Packing Them In Chapter 6 Justice in the Jungle: Immigrants and Environmental Racism in the Back of the Yards, 1880-1930 Chapter 7 Engineering and Environmental Inequality: The Rise and Fall of the Notorious "Bubbly Creek" Part 8 Broken Promises Chapter 9 Planning and Environmental Inequalities: Race, Place, and Environmental Health in Chicago Chapter 10 "We Fight Blight": Block Beautiful and the Urban Conservation Movement in Chicago's Black Belt, 1915-1954
Sylvia Hood Washington's Packing Them In is an intriguing overview of the intersection of race, ethnicity, and environmentalism. The book confronts orthodox views about environmental justice and environmental racism, calling upon all of us to take a deeper, more historically informed look at an important contemporary subject. -- Martin V. Melosi, University of Houston This unique work offers a balance of wisdom from careful historical analysis with the political passions aroused by environmental racism. While her historical focus is on Chicago, Dr. Washington's creative synthesis of empirical detail and social-historical theories are applied to a broader American canvas. -- Allan Schnaiberg, Northwestern University No issue better defines the ways that white supremacy damages lives across the color line, even as it concentrates misery among poor people defines as not white, than that of environmental racism. No study of environmental racism is more rooted in a rich local history, more steeped in engineering expertise, more conversant with the critical study of whiteness, more theoretically informed, or more politically engaged than this seminal and provocative book. -- David Roediger, University of Illinois Sylvia Washington's investigation of the pathologies of environmental racism in Chicago is a welcome addition to a field in need of urban case studies. Her fine history of African-American and immigrant groups' assiduous efforts to secure environmental justice, and to simply live safely, is instructive for contemporary struggles against similar forces of injustice. -- Paul C. Rosier, Villanova University Professor Washington has done the study of both urban development and environmental justice a great service. In her insightful and well argued book, she has shown how racism, sexism, and classism impacted on the life chances of African Americans when they moved to urban areas. Drawing on a wide range of historical, scientific, and political sources, she has provided a well documented overview of the role of racism in urban development. This book is a must read for American Studies Scholars, urban planners, environmentalists, and anyone interested in the history of the development of public policies regarding cities. -- Bill E. Lawson, Michigan State University With Packing Them In Sylvia Washington has made a significant contribution to American environmental history by demonstrating the centrality of race, racism, and resistance to any adequate understanding of the processes of environmental degradation and 'protection.' Her close empirical studies are informed by theoretical sophistication and animated by a passionate commitment to social justice. -- David Delaney, Amherst College Packing Them In is a welcome addition to the fields of environmental history and environmental justice studies. Indiana Magazine Of History, March 2008 Packing Them In offers the most cogent explanation to date of how environmental injustices are rooted in historic patterns of racial segregation in the housing market. Vivid in its portrayal of urban pollution and disease, this book nonetheless inspires and uplifts as it captures the resilience of a community determined to improve and beautify its environmental surroundings. -- Andrew Hurley, University of Missouri, St. Louis
About Sylvia Hood Washington
Sylvia Hood Washington teaches environmental ethics and environmental justice at Depaul University and African American history at the University of Maryland, University College. She sits on the University of Illinois-Chicago's Environmental Justice board and directs the national project on Environmental Justice and Environmental Health co-sponsored by the Knights of Peter Claver, Inc. and the USCCB's Catholic Coalition for Children and a Safe Environment (CASE).