Why are African Americans so underrepresented when it comes to interest in nature, outdoor recreation, and environmentalism? In this thought-provoking study, Carolyn Finney looks beyond the discourse of the environmental justice movement to examine how the natural environment has been understood, commodified, and represented by both white and black Americans. Bridging the fields of environmental history, cultural studies, critical race studies, and geography, Finney argues that the legacies of slavery, Jim Crow, and racial violence have shaped cultural understandings of the "great outdoors" and determined who should and can have access to natural spaces. Drawing on a variety of sources from film, literature, and popular culture, and analyzing different historical moments, including the establishment of the Wilderness Act in and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Finney reveals the perceived and real ways in which nature and the environment are racialized in America.
A Case For Black & White
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M y partner is very, very English. He despises queue-jumpers beyond measure. He can trace his family back nine generations to locations in Devon; he once introduced me to a relative who I am fairly certain said his name was Peter Pumpleton, or Martin Botherbottom. It was my partner who insisted we start doing more outdoor activities. But I was on shaky, inexperienced ground. In the multicultural London of my youth, the only horses I knew were the ones with coppers on top, and camping — even with a festival ticket — sounded unappealing.
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Jacqueline L. Scott does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under Creative Commons licence. There is a long history of visual apartheid in the advertising of the outdoors industry. What I mean by this is the absence of Indigenous, Black and other people of colour in the ads.
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