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Polluted Promises


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments OneYou Can Run, but You Can't Hyde TwoRace-ing the Environment ThreeOld HeadsIn between the Tracks FourStrange Fruit From Promised Land to Poisoned Land FiveFoot Soldiers Long Is the Struggle, Hard Is the Fight SixStaying on Board Crossing Murky Waters SevenNo Progress without Struggle Appendix A: Methods Appendix B: Getting Involved Notes Bibliography Index About the Author

About the Author

Melissa Checker is assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Memphis. She is the co-editor of Local Actions: Cultural Activism, Power and Public Life.


"In this highly readable account ... Checker has written a fine book. Assigned to students interested in urbanism, science and technology studies, race relations in the United States, environment, or social movements, the book is sure to spark thoughtful conversation." --American Anthropologist"Melissa Checker's absorbing story is a portrait of America. Polluted Promises showcases the complex links between toxic waste and race, and the hope-filled journeys of environmental activists who are wise, strong, and spiritual in their fight against toxic waste--and for their lives. Checker is doing public anthropology for social justice." --Carol Stack, author of All Our Kin"I hope that (this book) doesn't get pidgeonholed as a dry, academic treatise, because it is anything but that. It is a wonderfully written account of the struggles by the residents of Hyde Park, a neighborhood in Augusta, Georgia, to undo decades of...environmental racism." --In Brief"A very rich, organized, and theoretically interesting ethnographic case study of environmental activism. Checker beautifully recounts how the issues of race emerged and were manipulated in social organizing against environmental poisoning." --George E. Marcus, author of Ethnography through Thick and Thin"Polluted Promises is a substantial accomplishment. It grounds the notion of environmental justice wonderfully in practical terms, in the theoretically sophisticated and empathetic examination of Hyde Park." --Adolph Reed, Jr., author of Class Notes: Posing As Politics and Other Thoughts on the American Scene"A sweeping and brilliant account of a struggle for environmental justice. With clarity and honesty, Checker adroitly exploits the interconnection of race, environment, and civil rights. This is an authoritative and courageous book that should be essential reading for everyone interested in environmental justice." --Bunyan Bryant, editor of Environmental Justice: Issues, Policies, and Solutions

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