The colors of nature

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The essays, stories, poems, language by Native Americans, Japanese, Latinos, African Americans and Lebanese are all eye opening and thought provocative. Why do so many not see injustice in a place like New Orleans when it is so clear? For those who lacked access to shelter or higher ground, and for those who received little forewarning or relief aid, their disproportionate suffering was only another surge in a centuries-old pattern.

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What if "environment" isn't synonymous with "nature"? When Hurricane Katrina arrived, then, it should have hardly been a surprise that the burden fell primarily on 3 4 Lauret E.

Taken as a whole the writings creatively present how identity and place, human history and natural history, power and silence, and social injustice and environmental degradation are fundamentally linked.

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Of course there is no single or simple answer. What is left for too many is artifact, and for others, not even that. Perhaps through such stories we might more fully imagine and comprehend who and what we are with respect to each other, to the land, and to our shared responsibility. This more contemporary sensibility understands that nature has been wounded and degraded throughout human history, that such wounding diminishes all of us, and that the wound must somehow be healed. But for people of color who do not fit easily into the mainstream structure of Euro-America, such motion can involve cultural erasure over time. This is not only happening in New Orleans. No nation, wrote James Baldwin, has ever made so successful and glamorous a romance out of genocide and slavery. Reconstruction is changing the citys racial and economic complexion, rather than restoring separated families, communities, or the spiritual rooted ness that made the city so culturally rich.

As founder and first director of Sustainable South Bronx SSBMajora Carter worked in partnership Widening the Frame 9 with neighborhood groups, local government, and businesses to stop New York Citys plan for a solid-waste plant to process 40 percent of the citys garbage along the Bronx River.

Of course there is no single or simple answer.

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Dungy is one recent example offering a vision of what African American poets have contributed to our understanding of the natural world and to nature writing. Environmental thought and activism in the United States have old and diverse roots with a rich legacy of contributions by many cultures to the development of an environmental ethos, richer than just the contributions of those generally heralded. The study goes on to document systemic racial and socioeconomic inequities in the siting of commercial waste facilities. What if "environment" isn't synonymous with "nature"? I have been reading some books addressing this issue with the latest being Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer and ever so slowly educating myself. We asked for essays or memoirs, suggesting that writers might consider how lifeways, homeplace, and identity of an individual or a community are linked with the environment. In fact, each day offers new ex amples of injustice that reveal a society determined to avoid the troubled legacy of our nations founding and growth. The seed of this anthology was a troubling question: Why is there so little nature writing by people of color? These are the greens of Montana or Sumatra landscape, Toscana hills, Borneo or Java jungle and many other beautiful regions of the world. Does our lack of national culture in the U. Deming In the last few decades, nature writing has ranged beyond such narratives of solitary encounters and celebrations of pristine wildness to consider degraded habitats, cascading species extinctions, and global climate changeall providing incontrovertible evidence that our uniquely American relationship with this world has become unsustainable. Makes me upset every time I think about it.
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The Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity, and the Natural World by Alison Hawthorne Deming