5 Books On Intersectional Environmentalism To Add To Your Reading List
Knowledge is one of humanity’s greatest strengths. Being able to learn and understand problems builds the basis for creating solutions.
As climate change continues to ravage our planet, destroying habitats and causing sea levels to rise, it is important that each and every one of us takes the time to educate ourselves. Understanding how climate change affects marginalized communities can help us understand the impact of our day-to-day actions and further inspire us to reduce our carbon footprints. Reading about the fight for climate justice can open our eyes to the political side of the environment.
So without further ado, here is a list of book recommendations to get you started.
1. Toxic Communities: Environmental Racism, Industrial Pollution, and Residential Mobility by Dorceta Taylor
Dorceta Taylor is an environmental sociologist who has authored multiple pieces on environmental justice. In this novel, she dives into environmental racism, discussing how marginalized communities face health hazards due to increasing pollution created by their wealthier, more privileged counterparts. These communities are already faced with segregation and fewer resources, making them even less equipped to deal with the environmental problems being dumped on them. This novel examines the connection between marginalized groups and pollution, showing the reality of environmental racism.
2. As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight For Environmental Justice, From Colonization to Standing Rock by Dina Gilio-Whitaker
Dina Gilio-Whitaker is a well-known journalist and author who has studied and published pieces relating to the Native American experience in the United States. Her novel brings light to the long struggle Indigenous peoples face in relation to their environment. From water and food insecurity to the protection of their sacred sites, this novel unravels how both the government and corporations have tried to crack down on Indigenous rights. Gilio-Whitaker shares that all environmental activists must understand Indigenous history as they come together to fight for a better future.
3. Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class, and Sustainability by Alison Hope Alkon and Julian Agyeman
This novel brings together Alison Hope Alkon, an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of the Pacific and author of multiple books on food activism, and Julian Agyeman, a Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning and Fletcher Professor of Rhetorica and Debate at Tufts University who writes about topics in sustainability. Together, they provide an interesting insight into the food justice movement. From supporting sustainable agriculture to the distribution of products, the book is definitely an eye-opener!
4. There’s Something in the Water: Environment Racism in Indigenous & Black Communities by Ingrid R. G. Waldron
Ingrid R. G. Waldron is a social scientist from Canada as well as an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing at Dalhousie University. Adapted into a Netflix documentary of the same name, this novel focuses on the Indigenous and Black communities in Canada (specifically Nova Scotia). Using this case study, Waldron discusses how the oppressed were faced with an abundance of environmental hazards, on top of their pre-existing vulnerabilities.
5. Garbage Wars: The Struggle for Environmental Justice in Chicago by David Naguib Pellow
David Naguib Pellow is Dehlsen Chair Professor of Environmental Studies and Director of the Global Environmental Justice Project at the University of California. His novel follows the story of Hazel Johnson, who founded one of the first environmental justice organizations, People for Community Recovery.
Check Out These Novels!
It is imperative for us to always be reading, to be seeking knowledge. Reading accounts from marginalized voices provides us with an important perspective on intersectional environmentalism. Check out our official curated list of environmental justice books on our Instagram (@environmentaljusticecoalition)!
If you are interested in reading any of these books, you can purchase them here:
- Toxic Communities: Environmental Racism, Industrial Pollution, and Residential Mobility by Dorceta Taylor
- As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight For Environmental Justice, From Colonization to Standing Rock by Dina Gilio-Whitaker
- Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class, and Sustainability by Alison Hope Alkon and Julian Agyeman
- There’s Something in the Water: Environment Racism in Indigenous & Black Communities by Ingrid R. G. Waldron
- Garbage Wars: The Struggle for Environmental Justice in Chicago by David Naguib Pellow