New from the University of North Carolina Press: Baptized in PCBs: Race, Pollution, and Justice in an All-American Town,
by Ellen Griffith Spears
(University of Alabama). The Press explains:
In the mid-1990s, residents of Anniston, Alabama, began a
legal fight against the agrochemical company Monsanto over the dumping
of PCBs in the city's historically African American and white
working-class west side. Simultaneously, Anniston
environmentalists sought to safely eliminate chemical weaponry that had
been secretly stockpiled near the city during the Cold War. In this
probing work, Ellen Griffith Spears offers a compelling narrative of
Anniston's battles for environmental justice, exposing how systemic
racial and class inequalities reinforced during the Jim Crow era played
out in these intense contemporary social movements.
focuses attention on key figures who shaped Anniston--from Monsanto's
founders, to white and African American activists, to the ordinary
Anniston residents whose lives and health were deeply affected by the
town's military-industrial history and the legacy of racism. Situating
the personal struggles and triumphs of Anniston residents within a
larger national story of regulatory regimes and legal strategies that
have affected toxic towns across America, Spears unflinchingly explores
the causes and implications of environmental inequalities, showing how
civil rights movement activism undergirded Anniston's campaigns for
redemption and justice.
"This is an excellent book--well written, exhaustively researched,
original, and brilliantly conceived. Anyone interested in the history of
the South, business history, civil rights, and environmental justice
will find this essential reading. But more than that, this is a great
story--at turns inspiring, maddening, depressing, and instructive.
Everyone knows about Love Canal, Times Beach, Missouri, and Three Mile
Island. Hopefully, after this book is published, everyone will know
about Anniston as well!"
More information is available here