African American Religious and Civic Environmentalism-Updated Bibliography April 2017

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U.S. African American Religious and Civic Environmentalism Resources (April 2017)
Compiled by Elonda Clay, doctoral candidate at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, MLIS, M.Div. and 2008-2009 GreenFaith Fellow

Topics include African American Perspectives on the Environment; Gender and Environmental Justice, Ecowomanism, and Black Ecofeminism; Environmental Activism, Religious Environmentalism, African American Gardening Traditions, Africana Ecological Heritage;  and U.S. Black Environmental Liberation Theology.  Case studies in environmental racism and environmental justice on the Flint, Michigan Water Crisis and Hurricane Katrina are also listed.

Recommended Introductory Books

Baugh, Amanda J. God and the Green Divide: Religious Environmentalism in Black and White. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2016).

Bullard, Robert D., editor, Confronting Environmental Racism: Voices from the Grassroots. (Boston: South End Press, 1993).

Carney, Judith A. and Richard Nicholas Rosomoff.  In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa’s Botanical Legacy in the Atlantic World. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010).

Glave, Diane D. and Mark Stoll. To Love the Wind and the Rain: African Americans and Environmental History. (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006).

Glave, Diane D. Rooted in the Earth: Reclaiming the African American Environmental Heritage. (Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 2010).

Finney, Carolyn. Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to The Great Outdoors. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2014).

Jordan, Jeffery L., editor. Land & Power: Sustainable Agriculture and African Americans–A Collection of Essays from the 2007 Black Environmental Thought Conference. Tuskegee University, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE), Program, 2007.

Mayer, Sylvia, ed. Restoring the Connection to the Natural World: Essays on the African American Environmental Imagination. (Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2003).

Ruffin, Kimberly. Black on Earth: African American Ecoliterary Traditions (University of Georgia Press, Athens 2010)

Smith, Kimberly. African American Environmental Thought: Foundations. (Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press, 2007).

African American Perspectives on the Environment

Arp III, William and James Llorens. “Environmental Justice for Black Americans: A Question of Fairness.” The Western Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 23 No. 2 1999.

Chesney, Clyde E. “African-American Environmentalism: Issues and Trends for Teaching, Research and Extension.” (2007).

Dickerson, Jessica. “5 Black Environmentalists Worth Celebrating On Earth Day.” Huffington Post, BLACK VOICES. Apr 22, 2014.

Dungy, Camille T., ed. Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2009.

Ellis, Andrew, and Felipe Korzenny. “Black, white, or green: The powerful influence of ethnicity on proenvironmental attitudes and behaviors.” Association of Market Theory and Practice Proceedings. (2012).

Fields, Leslie G. “Mercy Mercy Me, A (Climate) Change is Going to Come.” The Black Scholar, Journal of Black Studies and Research. Vol. 46 , Issue 3, 2016.

Gach, Nataliia. “Conceptualization of Nature in the African American Poetry: Ecocritical Discourse Analysis.” International Journal 4, no. 1 (2016): 273-285.

Green, John J., Eleanor M. Green, and Anna M. Kleiner. “From the Past to the Present” Agricultural Development and Black Farmers in the American South,” In Alkon, Alison Hope, and Julian Agyeman. Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class, And Sustainability. MIT Press, 2011: 47-67.

Jones, Robert Emmet. “Black Concern for the Environment: Myth versus Reality,” Society & Natural Resources, Vol. 11, Issue 3, Apr/May98.

Lee, Kangjae Jerry, and David Scott. “Bourdieu and African Americans’ Park Visitation: The Case of Cedar Hill State Park in Texas.” Leisure Sciences 38, no. 5 (2016): 424-440.

Lewis, Shireen K. “Introduction.” Special Issue: Climate Justice: Blacks and Climate Change.” The Black Scholar, Journal of Black Studies and Research. Vol. 46 , Issue 3, (2016): 1-3.

Mitchem, Stephanie Y. African American Folk Healing. (New York: New York University Press, 2007).

Mitchem, Stephanie Y. and Emilie Townes, eds. Faith, Health, and Healing in African American Life. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2008.

Mohai, Paul. “Dispelling Old Myths: African American.” Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development 45, no. 5 (2003): 10-26.

African Americans and Green Building/Architecture

Inspire Speakers Series presents Inspirational Storytelling: Christian Hughes. Mar 8, 2016. Green Building Alliance.

Drafting Dreams – Drafting Dreams educates students Kindergarten through 12th grade on principles of architecture and urban design, through creative design exercises and design curricula.

Ecocriticism/Social Constructions of Race and Nature

Adamson, Joni, and Scott Slovic. “Guest Editors’ Introduction: The Shoulders We Stand On: An Introduction to Ethnicity and Ecocriticism.” MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the US 34, no. 2 (2009): 5-24.

Berry, Wendall. [1968]. The Hidden Wound. Berkeley: Counterpoint Press, 2010.

Brahinsky, Rachel, Jade Sasser, and Laura‐Anne Minkoff‐Zern. “Race, space, and nature: An introduction and critique.” Antipode 46, no. 5 (2014): 1135-1152.

Brown, Karida L., Michael W. Murphy, and Apollonya M. Porcelli. “RUIN’S PROGENY: Race, Environment, and Appalachia’s Coal Camp Blacks.” Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race 13, no. 2 (2016): 327-344.

Burdsey, Daniel. Race, Place and the Seaside: Postcards from the Edge. Springer, 2016.

Claborn, John. “W.E.B. Du Bois at the Grand Canyon: Nature, History, and Race in Darkwater.” In The Oxford Handbook of Ecocriticism, edited by Greg Garrard. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Cronon, William. The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature.

Gerhardt, Christine. “The Greening of African American Landscapes: Where Ecocriticism Meets Post-Colonial Theory.” Mississippi Quarterly 2004.

Guthman, Julie. If They Only Knew”: The Unbearable Whiteness of Alternative food.” In Alkon, Alison Hope, and Julian Agyeman. Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class, And Sustainability. MIT Press, 2011:283-308.

Hickcox, Abby. “White environmental subjectivity and the politics of belonging.” Social & Cultural Geography (2017): 1-24.

Outka, Paul. Race and Nature from Transcendentalism to the Harlem Renaissance. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.
Jones, Van. ‘Vanity Fair: The Unbearable Whiteness of Green’. Huffington Post, U.S. Edition. May 17, 2007. Accessed April 11, 2017.

Wade, Peter. Race, Nature and Culture: An Anthropological Perspective. (London: Pluto Press, 2002).

Anti-Urban Bias

Avner de-Shalit, “Ruralism or Environmentalism?” Environmental Values Vol. 5, 1996, pp. 47-58.

Bennett, Michael. “Cities in the New Millennium: Environmental Justice, the Spatialization of Race, and Combating Anti-Urbanism,” Journal of African American Studies, Summer-Fall 2004, Vol. 8, No. 1 & 2, pp. 126-141.

Light, Andrew. “The Urban Blind Spot in Environmental Ethics”, Environmental Politics Volume 10, Issue 1 (Spring 2001).

Meyer, William B. The environmental advantages of cities: countering commonsense antiurbanism. MIT Press, 2013.

Gender and Environmental Justice for Women of Color (includes Black Ecofeminist and Ecowomanist Thought)

Amenga-Etego, Rose Mary. “Nankani Women’s Spirituality and Ecology,” Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology 20, no. 1 (2016): 15-29.

Baker-Fletcher, Karen. Sisters of Dust, Sisters of Spirit: Womanist Wordings on God and Creation. (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1998).

Baker-Fletcher, Karen. “Something or Nothing: An Eco-Womanist Essay on God, Creation, and Indispensability,” in This Sacred Earth: Religion, Nature, Environment, 2nd Ed., ed. Roger S. Gottlieb. London: Routledge, 2004, 428-437.

Betancourt, Sofia. “Between Dishwater and the River: Toward an Ecowomanist Methodology,” WorldViews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology 20 (2016): 64-75.

Harris, Melanie. “Alice Walker and the Emergence of Ecowomanist Spirituality.” Spirit and Nature: The Study of Christian Spirituality in a Time of Ecological Urgency, ed. Timothy Hessel-Robinson and Ray Maria McNamara (2011): 220-36.

Harris, Melanie L. “Ecowomanism.” Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology 20, no. 1 (2016): 5-14.

Harris, Melanie L. “Ecowomanism: Black Women, Religion, and the Environment.” The Black Scholar 46, no. 3 (2016): 27-39.

Harris, Melanie L. “Ecowomanism and Ecological Reparations.” The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Religion and Ecology (2017): 195.

hooks, bell. “Touching the Earth,” In At Home on the Earth: Becoming Native to Our Place: A Multicultural Anthology, ed David Landis Barnhill (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999).

hooks, bell. Belonging: A Culture of Place. New York and London: Routledge, 2009.

Krauss, Celene. “Women of Color On the Front Line,” In Robert Bullard, ed., Confronting Environmental Racism: Voices from the Grassroots, (Boston: South End Press, 1993).

Lourde, Audre. The Cancer Journals. New York: Spinster’s Ink, 1980.

Maparyan, Layli. “Seeds of Light, Flowers of Power, Fruits of Change: Ecowomanism as Spiritualized Ecological Praxis,” Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology 20, no. 1 (2016): 48-63.

Oduyoye, Mercy. “Earth Hope: A Letter,” Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology 20, no. 1 (2016): 87 – 92.

Oliveira Pinto, Valdina and Rachel E. Harding. “Afro-Brazilian Religion, Resistance and Environmental Ethics: A Perspective from Candomblé,” Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology 20, no. 1 (2016): 76 – 86.

Pu, Xiumei. “Turning Weapons into Flowers: Ecospiritual Poetics and Politics of Bön and Ecowomanism, “Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology 20, no. 1 (2016):  30 – 47.

Razak, Arisika. “Her Blue Body: A Pagan Reading of Alice Walker Womanism.” Feminist Theology 18, no. 1 (2009): 92-116.

Richardson, Tina. “Changing Landscapes: Mapping Breast Cancer as an Environmental Justice Issue in Audre Lorde’s The Cancer Journals,” In Sylvia Mayer, ed. Restoring the Connection to the Natural World. (Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2003): 129-147.

Riley, Shamara Shantu. “Ecology Is A Sistah’s Issue Too: The Politics of Emergent Afrocentric Womanism,” In Worldviews, Religion, and the Environment: A Global Anthology ed. Richard C. Foltz. (Belmont,CA: Wadsworth, 2003).

Smith, Pamela A. “Green Lap, Brown Embrace, Blue Body: The Ecospirituality of Alice Walker.” CrossCurrents (1998): 471-487.

Taylor, Dorceta E.(1997) “Women of Color, Environmental Justice and Ecofeminism,” In Ecofeminism: Women, Nature and Culture, Karen J. Warren, ed., Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, pp. 38-81.

Taylor, Dorceta E. 2002. ‘Race, Class, Gender and American Environmentalism.’ United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.

Thomas, Linda. “God is Creation: Womanist Theology and the Earth.” Paper delivered at The World Forum on Theology and Liberation 2009.

Walker, Alice. In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1983.

Walker, Alice. “Am I Blue?” In Living By the Word: Selected Writings, 1973-1987. (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1988).

Washington, Sylvia Hood. “Mrs. Block Beautiful: African American Women and the Birth of the Urban Conservation Movement, Chicago, IL, 1917–1954.” In Land & Power: Sustainable Agriculture and African Americans. Jeffery Jordan, editor. Tuskegee University, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE), Program, 2007, 133-152.

White, Monica M. ‘Sisters of the Soil: Urban Gardening as Resistance in Detroit.’  Race/ethnicity: Multidisciplinary global contexts 5, no. 1 (2011): 13-28.

Williams, Delores S. “Sin, Nature, and Black Women’s Bodies,” in Ecofeminism and the Sacred, ed. Carol J. Adams (New York: Continuum, 1993), 24-29.

African American Gardens and African-Atlantic Gardening Heritage

Chireau, Yvonne Patricia. Black Magic: Religion and the African American Conjuring Tradition. Oakland: University of California Press, 2003.

Fett, Sharla M. Working Cures: Healing, Health, and Power on Southern Slave Plantations. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002.

Glave, Dianne D. ‘A Garden So Brilliant with Colors, So Original in Its Design’: Rural African American Women, Gardening, Progressive Reform, and the Foundation of an African American Environmental Perspective.’  Environmental History 8, no.3 (2003):395-411.

Gundaker, Grey, editor. Keep Your Head to the Sky: Interpreting African American Home Ground.  Charlottesville: University of Virginia, 1998.

Gundaker, Grey and Judith McWillie. No Space Hidden: The Spirit of African American Yard Work, Knoxville: University of Tennessee, 2005.

Gundaker, Grey. ‘Wild Flowers: African-Atlantic Epistemology and the Politics of Garden and Landscape History.’ September 19, 2012. University of Minnesota, Institute for Advanced Study. Video. Accessed April 10, 2017.

Heath, Barbara J. and Amber Bennett. ‘The little Spots allow’d them’: The Archaeological Study of African-American Yards.  Historical Archaeology 34 no. 2 (2000):38-55.

Kincaid, Jamaica. My Favorite Plant: Writers and Gardeners on the Plants They Love. New York: Macmillan, 1998.

Klindienst, Patricia. “Freedom – The Gardens of Two Gullah Elders. St. Helena Islands, South Carolina,” In The Earth Knows My Name: Food, Culture, and Sustainability in the Gardens of Ethnic Americans. (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 2007).

McClure, Susan A. “Parallel usage of medicinal plants by Africans and their Caribbean descendants.” Economic Botany 36, no. 3 (1982): 291-301.

Ott, Cindy. “Making Sense of Urban Gardens.” Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies 15, no. 3 (2015): 18-27.


Pettis, Joyce. ‘On Gardening or A Love Supreme,’ In Gabbin, Joanne V. Shaping Memories: Reflections of African American Women Writers. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2009.

Sills, Vaughn, Lowry Pei, and Hilton Als. Places for the Spirit: Traditional African American Gardens. San Antonio: Trinity University Press, 2010.

Stewart, Wanda. ‘Heal The Land, Heal The Spirit: Wanda Stewart.’ Films For Action. November 27, 2014. Accessed April 16, 2017.

Thompson, Robert Farris. Flash of the Spirit: African and Afro-American Art and Philosophy. New York, Penguin Random House, 1983.

Westmacott, Richard. African-American Gardens and Yards in the Rural South.  Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1992.

Historical Geography

Carney, Judith A. Black rice. The African origins of rice cultivation in the Americas. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001).

Carney, Judith A. and Robert A. Voeks. “The Landscape Legacies of the African Diaspora in Brazil” Progress in Human Geography Vol. 27 Number 2 (2003), 139–152.

Carney, Judith A. ‘Landscapes and Places of Memory: African Diaspora Research and Geography’. In The African Diaspora and the Disciplines, edited by Tejumola Olaniyan and James Hoke Sweet. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010.

Carney, Judith A. ‘Fields of Survival, Foods of Memory,’ In Geographies of Race and Food: Fields, Bodies, Markets, Rachel Slocum and Arun Saldanha, editors. Burlington: Ashgate, 2013.  

Littlefield, Daniel C. Rice and Slaves: Ethnicity and the Slave Trade in Colonial South Carolina. (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1991).

Kobayashi, Audrey, “Critical ‘race’ approaches to cultural geography.” In James Duncan, Nuala Johnson and Richard Schein, eds. The Companion to Cultural Geography. (Oxford and Malden, M.A.: Blackwell, 2004), pp. 238-249.

Africana Ecological Heritage

Bandele, Owusu. “The Deep Roots of Our Land-Based Heritage: Cultural, Social, Political, and Environmental Implications.” In Land & Power: Sustainable Agriculture and African American. Jordan, Jeffery L., editor. Tuskegee University, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE), Program, 2007: 79-92.

Ruffin, Kimberly N. “York, Harriet, and George: Writing African American Ecological Ancestors.” In Land & Power: Sustainable Agriculture and African Americans. Jordan, Jeffery L., editor. Tuskegee University, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE), Program, 2007: 33–56.

Washington, Sylvia. “‘My Soul Looked Back’: Environmental Memories of the African in America, 1600–2000.” In Washington, Silvia Hood, Heather Goodall, and Paul C. Rosier, eds. Echoes from the Poisoned Well: Global Memories of Environmental Injustice. Lexington Books, 2006.


Black Sustainable Agriculture and the Legacy of George Washington Carver

Carver, George Washington. “The Need of Scientific Agriculture in the South” The American Monthly Review of Reviews, ed. Albert Shaw (1902), 321.

Mc Murry, Linda O. George Washington Carver: Scientist and Symbol. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1981).

Jordan, Jeffrey L., Edward “Jerry” Pennick, Walter A. Hill, and Robert Zabawa. “Sustainable Agriculture and African Americans: Land and Power.” In Land & Power: Sustainable Agriculture and African Americans. Jordan, Jeffery L., editor. Tuskegee University, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE), Program, 2007: 5–9.

Ferrell, John S. “George Washington Carver: A Blazer of Trails to a Sustainable Future.” In Land & Power: Sustainable Agriculture and African Americans. Jordan, Jeffery L., editor. Tuskegee University, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE), Program, 2007: 11–32.

Densu, Kwasi.“Theoretical and Historical Perspectives on Agroecology and African American Farmers: Toward a Culturally Relevant Sustainable Agriculture.” In Land & Power: Sustainable Agriculture and African Americans. Jordan, Jeffery L., editor. Tuskegee University, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE), Program, 2007:93–107.

Hersey, Mark D. The Transformation of George Washington Carver’s Environmental
Vision, 1896–1918.” In Land & Power: Sustainable Agriculture and African Americans. Jordan, Jeffery L., editor. Tuskegee University, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE), Program, 2007: 57–76.

African Atlantic Diaspora and Foodways


Harris, Jessica B. “Same Boat, Different Stops: An African Atlantic Culinary Journey” In African Roots, American Cultures: African in the Creation of the Americas, Shelia S. Walker, ed. (Landham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2001), 169-182.

Walker, Jessica Kenyatta. “The Good, The Bad, The Unforgivable: Black Women’s Food Work as Creative Spaces of Dissent and Strategic Acquiescence.” Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies (August 2015).      

______“Nervous Kitchens: Reading Black Women, Food Production, and Racial Tensions in Popular Media,” in Consuming Cultures: Food as Identity. Ed. Cammie Sublette: University of Arkansas Press (Spring 2015).
______“Mighty Matriarchs Kill it with a Skillet: Critically Reading Representations of Black Womanhood and Food,” in Dethroning the Deceitful Porkchop: African‐American Foodways from Slavery to Obama. Ed. Jennifer Wallach and Lindsey Swindall: University of Arkansas Press (Spring 2015).

Walker, Jessica Kenyatta and Psyche Williams‐Forson. “Food and Race” Routledge International Handbook of Food Studies. Ed. Ken Albala. London: Routledge, 2012.


Williams-Forson, Psyche, and Rebecca Sharpless. “Dethroning the deceitful pork chop: Rethinking African American foodways from slavery to Obama.” (2015).

African American Food Ethics and Food Justice (includes Black Veganism)

Brady, Jennifer, and Matthew Ventresca. ““Officially A Vegan Now”: On Meat and Renaissance Masculinity in Pro Football.” Food and Foodways 22, no. 4 (2014): 300-321.

Carter, Christopher. ‘Green Thumbs And Black Youth: The Social Complexity Of Urban Gardening’. June 20, 2016. Creature Kind website. Accessed April 12, 2017.

Carter, Christopher. ‘Eating Food and Justice’. Reflections Magazine: A Magazine of Theological and Ethical Inquiry. Yale Divinity School. Fall 2014.

Carter, Christopher. “Identity/Politics: African American Christians and Animal Activism.” Paper presented at 2012 American Academy of Religion conference. Panel: Thinking Animals, Rethinking Race, Ethnicity, and Religion.

Donaldson, Brianne and Christopher Carter, eds.The Future of Meat Without Animals. London: Rowman & Littfield Publishing, 2016.

Harper, A. Breeze. Sistah Vegan: Black female vegans speak on food, identity, health, and society. Lantern Books, 2010.

Harper, A. Breeze. “Going Beyond the Normative White “PostRacial” Vegan Epistemology.” In Taking Food Public: Redefining Foodways in a Changing World (2012): 155-74.

Harper, A. Breeze. “Doing Veganism Differently: Racialized Trauma and the Personal Journey Towards Vegan Healing.” In Doing Nutrition Differently: Critical Approaches to Diet and Dietary Intervention (2016): 133.

Harper, A. Breeze. “Vegans of Color, Racialized Embodiment, and Problematics of the “Exotic,” In Cultivating Food Justices: Race, Class, and Sustainability. Alkon, Alison Hope, and Julian Agyeman, editors.  (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2011): 221-238.


McCutcheon, Priscilla. “Community Food Security ‘For Us, By Us:’ The Nation of Islam and the Pan African Orthodox Christian Church,” In Cultivating Food Justices: Race, Class, and Sustainability. Alkon, Alison Hope, and Julian Agyeman, editors.  (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2011): 177-196.

Morales, Alfonso. Growing Food and Justice: Dismantling Racism through Sustainable Food Systems,” In Cultivating Food Justices: Race, Class, and Sustainability. Alkon, Alison Hope, and Julian Agyeman, editors.  (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2011):149-176.

Williams, Orrin. “Food and Justice: The Critical Link to Healthy Communities.” In Power, Justice, and the Environment (2005): 117-130.

Williams-Forson, Psyche, and Jennifer Cognard-Black. “Where Are the Women in Contemporary Food Studies? Ruminations on Teaching Gender and Race in the Food Studies Classroom.” Feminist Studies 40, no. 2 (2014): 304-332.

Williams, Venice R.’ Venice Williams: Share a Meal. Share Your Story.’ Creative Mornings HQ. April 22, 2016. Accessed April 18, 2017.

African Indigenous Religions and Ecology

Antonio, Edward. “Ecology as Experience in African Indigenous Religions,” In Linda Thomas, ed. Living Stones In the Household of God: The Legacy and Future of Black Theology. (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress Press, 2004) , 146-157.

Kalu, Ogbu U. “The Sacred Egg: Worldview, Ecology, and Development in West Africa” In Indigenous Religions and Ecology: The Interbeing of Cosmology and Community, edited by John Grim. (Boston: Harvard University Press, 2000).

Maathai, Wangari. Replenishing the Earth: Spiritual Values for Healing Ourselves and the World. (New York: Doubleday, 2010).

Olupona, Jacob K. “Religion and Ecology in African Culture and Society,” In The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology, Edited by Roger S. Gottlieb. (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006).

Ranger, Terence. “Women and Environment in African Religion” in Social History and African Environments, ed. William Beinhart and Joann McGregor. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2003, pp.72-86.

Religion and Ecology in the African Diaspora

Clay, Elonda. ‘How Does It Feel to be an Environmental Problem? Studying Religion and Ecology in the African Diaspora’.  In Bauman, Whitney A., Richard R. Bohannon, and Kevin J. O’Brien, eds. Inherited Land: The Changing Grounds of Religion and Ecology. Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2011.

Environmental Racism and Environmental Justice

Online Video Resources

Mustafa Ali: Meet the Top EPA Environmental Justice Official Who Quit to Protest Pruitt & Trump. Democracy Now website. March 13, 2017.

Nellie Hester Bailey Speaks: Nellie Hester Bailey, co-founder of Harlem Tenants Council (HTC)

Bunyan Bryant: A Fighter for Environmental Justice. Oct 8, 2012. School of Natural Resources and Environment.

MacArthur Genius Award-winning activist Majora Carter’s “Greening the Ghetto” talk at TED 2006.

Inspire Speakers Series Featuring Naomi Davis, Diana Bucco and Majestic Lane (Full Length). Dec 20, 2016. Green Building Alliance.

Naomi Davis, Founder and CEO of B.I.G.-Blacks In Green, Chicago, IL on self-sustainable African American communities.

Veronica Kyle–Food, Faith and the Environment. ChicagoFaithHealth. June 20, 2011.

Vernice Miller-Travis. Keynote Address. UMD School of Public Health. December 1, 2012.

Print/Web Resources

United Church of Christ 1987. Toxic Wastes and Race in the United States. New York, NY: Commission for Racial Justice.

United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice 1991. The Proceedings of the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit. New York, NY: UCC.

National Black Church Environmental and Economic Justice Summit Report (New York: National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA, 1993).

Agyeman, Julian, Robert D. Bullard and Bob Evans, eds. Just Sustainabilities: Development in an Unequal World.  MIT Press 2003.

Bullard, Robert D., ed., Unequal Protection: Environmental Justice and Communities of Color. (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1994).

Bullard, Robert D. The Quest for Environmental Justice: Human Rights and the Politics of Pollution. (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 2005).

Bullard, Robert D., J. Eugene Grigsby, Charles Lee, Joe R. Feagin. Residential Apartheid: the American legacy.  CAAS Publications, 1994.

Carter, Majora. Sustainable South Bronx: A Model for Environmental Justice. E. F. Schumacher Society, 2007.

Jones, Van. The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems. (San Francisco: HarperOne, 2008).

Rasmussen, Larry. “Environmental Racism and Environmental Justice: Moral Theory in the Making?” Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics, 24, 1 (2004): 3-28.

Schlosberg, David. Environmental Justice and the New Pluralism: The Challenge of Difference for Environmentalism. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002).

Taylor, Dorceta E.(1999) “Mobilizing for Environmental Justice in Communities of Color: An Emerging Profile of People of Color Environmental Groups,” in Ecosystem Management: Adaptive Strategies for Natural Resource Organizations in the 21st Century, Jennifer Aley, William Burch, Beth Canover and Donald Field, eds., Washington, D.C.: Taylor & Francis, pp. 33-67.

Taylor, Dorceta E. ‘The Rise of the Environmental Justice Paradigm: Injustice Framing and the Social Construction of Environmental Discourses.’ American Behavioral Scientist 43 (2000): 508–80.

Taylor, Dorceta E. “Introduction: The evolution of environmental justice activism, research, and scholarship.”  Environmental Practice vol 13, issues 04 (2011): 280-301.

Washington, Silvia Hood, Heather Goodall, and Paul C. Rosier, eds. Echoes from the Poisoned Well: Global Memories of Environmental Injustice. Lexington Books, 2006.

Young, Lisa J., and Mangala Subramaniam. “Eco-critical Consciousness Meets Oppositional Consciousness: Reading Early Chicago Housing Activism through an Environmental Lens.” Sociological Focus (2016): 198-212.

Case Study in Environmental Racism/Environmental Justice: Flint, Michigan Water Crisis

Washington, Sylvia Hood and Pellow David. “Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan: Interview with David Pellow, Ph.D.” Environmental Justice. April 2016, 9(2): 53-58.

Washington, Sylvia Hood and Foster Sheila R. “The Legal Discourse Surrounding the Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan: Interview with Sheila R. Foster.” Environmental Justice. April 2016, 9(2): 59-64.

Campbell, Carla, Rachael Greenberg, Deepa Mankikar, and Ronald D. Ross. “A Case Study of Environmental Injustice: The Failure in Flint.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 13, no. 10 (2016): 951.

Cuthbertson, Courtney A., Cathy  Newkirk, Joan  Ilardo, Scott  Loveridge, Mark  Skidmore. “Angry, Scared, and Unsure: Mental Health Consequences of Contaminated Water in Flint, Michigan.” Journal of Urban Health 93, 6 (2016): 899-908.

Egan, Paul. “Civil rights panel: Flint water crisis linked to ‘systemic racism’.” Detroit Free Press. Feb. 17, 2017.

Eligon, John. Question of Environmental Racism in Flint. January. 21, 2016.

Glave, Dianne D. “Flint’s Water: An Environmental Disaster.” January 30, 2016. Rooted In the Earth Blog.

Heard-Garris, Nia Jeneé, Jessica  Roche, Patrick  Carter, Mahshid  Abir, Maureen  Walton, Marc  Zimmerman, Rebecca  Cunningham. “Voices from Flint: Community Perceptions of the Flint Water Crisis.” Journal of Urban Health (2017): 315.

Mona, Hanna-Attisha. “Flint Kids: Tragic, Resilient, and Exemplary,” American Journal of Public Health 107, 5 (2017): 651-652.

Case Study in Environmental Racism/Environmental Justice: Hurricane Katrina

When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts – HBO Documentary Films, Spike Lee, Director.

Bullard, Robert D. “Differential Vulnerabilities: Environmental and Economic Inequality and Government Response to Unnatural Disasters” Social Research Vol 75 : No 3 : Fall 2008.

Byrnes, W. Malcolm. “Climate Justice, Hurricane Katrina, and African American Environmentalism.” Journal of African American Studies 18, no. 3 (2014): 305-314.

Johnson, Glenn S. “Environmental Justice and Katrina: A Senseless Environmental Disaster” The Western Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 32, No. 1, 2008.

Sze, Julie (2005). ‘Toxic Soup Redux: Why Environmental Racism and Environmental Justice Matter after Katrina.’ Understanding Katrina: Perspectives from the Social Sciences. Social Sciences Research Council.

African American Islam and Religious Environmentalism

Akom, A. A. “Cities as battlefields: understanding how the Nation of Islam impacts on civic engagement, environmental racism, and community development in a low income neighborhood” International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. Vol. 20, No. 6, November-December (2007): 711–730.

McCutcheon, Priscilla. ““Returning Home to Our Rightful Place”: The Nation of Islam and Muhammad Farms.” Geoforum 49 (2013): 61-70.

Black Catholic Tradition and Religious Environmentalism

Washington, Sylvia Hood. (2006). “We’ve Come This Far By Faith”: Memories of Race, Religion, and Environmental Disparity. In S. H. Washington, H. Goodall, & P. Rosier (Eds.), Echoes from the poisoned well: global memories of environmental injustice. Lanham: Lexington Books.

African American Protestant Churches and Religious Environmentalism

Apr III, William, and Keith Boeckelman III. “Religiosity: a Source of Black Environmentalism and Empowerment?.” Journal of Black Studies 28, no. 2 (1997): 255-267.

Banks, Adelle M. Black clergy seek to bridge ‘green’ gap. February 28, 2014. Religious News Service.


Baugh, Amanda J. “‘Green Is Where It’s At’: Cultivating Environmental Concern at an African American Church.” Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature & Culture 9, no. 3 (2015).

Black Church Food Security Network (Baltimore, MD Metro Area)

Carroll, Rev. Ambrose, Director. “Green the Church: Black Churches Are Going Green,” [Roughcut 1]. Dec 9, 2013. Green For All.

Fountain, Rasheena. “Environmentalists Need the Black Church & Community.” Huffington Post. January 24, 2017.

Glave, Dianne D. “Environmentalism and the Black Church.” New York Times. February 2, 2012.

National Black Church Initiative Environmental Initiative.

Sheppard, Kate. “‘Green the Church’ Seeks To Mobilize Black Churches On Climate Change.’ Huffington Post. March 13, 2015.

U.S. Black Liberation Theology Resources (Protestant Christian Tradition)

Cone, James H. “Whose Earth Is It, Anyway?” In Earth Habitat: Eco-Injustice and the Church’s Response, ed. Dieter Hessel and Larry Rasmussen. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2001.

Cone, James H. “One Earth, One Struggle.” The Other Side, January and February

Glave, Diane D. “Black Environmental Liberation Theology” In To Love the Wind and the Rain: African Americans and Environmental History, eds. Dianne D. Graves and Mark Stoll. (Pittsburg, PA: University of Pittsburg Press, 2006).

Gray, T. L. “Consider This” In Holy Ground: A Gathering of Voices on Caring for Creation. Edited by Lyndsay Moseley and the staff of Sierra Club Books; foreward by Carl Pope. (San Francisco, Sierra Club Books, 2008).

Holmes, Barbara. Race and the Cosmos: An Invitation to View the World Differently. (Harrisburg, PA: Trinity International Press, 2002).

Holmes, Barbara. Joy Unspeakable: Contemplative Practices of the Black Church. (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress, 2004).

Hopkins, Dwight N. “Holistic Health and Healing: Environmental Racism and Ecological Justice” in Faith, Health, and Healing in African American Life, Stephanie Y. Mitchem and Emilie M. Townes, eds. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2008. Available at

Logan, James. “Religion, Environmental Racism, and Migrations of Black Body and Soul,” in Theology and Migration in World Christianity: Contextual Perspectives (in Three Volumes), Volume 3: Christianities in Migration: The Global Perspective, eds. Elaine Padilla and Peter Phan (Palgrave McMillian, 2016). Pgs. 245–262.

Miller-Travis, Vernice. “Social Transformation through Environmental Justice,” In Christianity and Ecology: Seeking The Well-Being Of Earth And Humans, Hessel, Dieter T., and Rosemary Radford Ruether, eds.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Center for the Study of World Religions; Distributed by: Harvard University Press, 2000.

Pinn, Anthony B. “Of Money, God, and Earth: The Black Church on Economics and Environmental Racism,” Journal of Religious Thought, Vol. 56/57 Issue 2/1 (2001): 43–61.

Stoll, Mark. “Religion and African American Environmentalism” In To Love the Wind and the Rain: African Americans and Environmental History, eds. Dianne D. Graves and Mark Stoll. (Pittsburg, PA: University of Pittsburg Press, 2006).

Walker Jr, Theodore. “African-American Resources for a More Inclusive Liberation Theology.” This Sacred Earth: Religion, Nature, Environment, 2nd Ed., ed. Roger S.Gottlieb. (London: Routledge, 2004): 277.

Williams, Preston N.  “Response to William C. French,” In Christianity and Ecology: Seeking The Well-Being Of Earth And Humans, Hessel, Dieter T., and Rosemary Radford Ruether, eds.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Center for the Study of World Religions; Distributed by: Harvard University Press, 2000.


Digital Pornotroping

Gendered Violence Online Symposium. The Cyberhate Project
Friday July 7, 2017
University of New South Wales
Sydney, Australia

Digital Pornotroping: Naming and Defining Anti-Black e-bile and Violent Online Misogynoir as a Form of Racialized, Sexualized, and Gendered Cyberhate

Presenter: Elonda Clay
Ph.D. candidate, V.U. University Amsterdam, Netherlands

Black women experience what queer Black scholar Moya Bailey has coined and described as misogynoir (specifically anti-Black misogyny as experienced intraracially and interracially by Black Women). Womanist blogger Trudy Hamilton of, has further explained and expounded on the term misogynoir, noting that, Misogynoir impacts Black women because of misogyny and dehumanization through anti-Blackness.”

In this paper, I argue that while misogynoir as anti-black misogyny targeting Black women, same gender loving women, and transwomen occurs in multiple contexts in and through media, popular culture, and public discourses; when misogynoir is elevated to graphic sexual violence, threats and abuse online it manifests as a particular form of interracial gendered cyberhate that can be described as digital pornotroping. I revisit Hortense Spiller’s work Moma’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe and Alexander Weheliye’ s work, Habeas Viscus on the concept of pornotroping, connecting the digitizing of pornotroping to digital culture and Emma A. Jane’s later concepts of e-bile and gendered cyberhate, in order to develop and extend understandings of racialized e-bile and online vitriol as interracial digital sexual violence.

To gain a better understanding of how digital pornotroping colors black women’s online experiences, I examine actual examples of uncensored racialized and gendered cyberhate targeting Black women. This study examines digital pornotroping discourse through a textual analysis of several online sites/events: a sample of Twitter data from the Leslie Jones and Milo Yiannopoulos Twitter trolling event of 2016, corrosive death messages from user comments on the Youtube videos of U.S. Black female activists against police violence, and “mean memes” that targeted former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, and portrayed her as either an animal (monkey or ape), unfeminine, or as a transgendered male.

Although intraracial misogynoir (anti-Black misogyny among Blacks) and graphic sexual violence, threats, and abuse online is a phenomenon that has also increased and become more prevalent in recent years, it is not the primary focus of this paper and will be discussed in forthcoming works. Anti-Black misogyny online among women and men of African descent is reflective of complicity with rape culture, heteropatriarchy, homophobia and transphobia, and sexual violence against Black women and femmes within the contexts of black culture and black communities and informs certain constructions of black hypermasculinity as well as Black religious identities.

Digital pornotroping can be defined as online interracial sexual violence strategically deployed by perpetrators to reinforce white supremacist capitalist heteropatriarchy by injecting or performing colonial pornotrope scripts  in digital environments which involve discursive and communicative practices, digital imaging, technological skills, social networking sites, and multimodal practices. Pornotrope scripts include perceiving women of African descent as animalistic; always already sexually available with excessive, absent, or deviant sexualities; deserving and/or desiring brutal sexual/eroticized assault; ungendered – failed motherhood and fatherhood; desubjectified (reduced to mere flesh); inhuman, and marked for social death. Digital pornotroping represents many types of online actions and hate speech acts, including trolling, online harassment, cyberbullying, cyberstalking, gendered and racialized cyberhate, nonconsensual photos posted online, doxxing, graphic threats of sexual abuse and death, surveillance, hacking, shaming, fake posts/tweets on social media meant to inflame followers, and being targeted by alt-right/white supremacist groups for cyber attack or malicious cybercampaigns.

Digital pornotroping functions as an extension and migration of the historical racialized violence/gender/sexuality matrix from the project of modernity and the institution of Trans-Atlantic slavery into the postmodern virtual landscapes of cyberspace.  As a useful conceptual tool for analyzing the resurgence and reinvention of settler-colonial biopolitics and White supremacist racial and sexual logics, digital pornotroping assists us in examining the ways in which the racialized sexual violence and abuse online aims to harm its intended targets, while it simultaneously informs the construction of violent toxic white masculinity and femininity. Here the concept of “harm” includes reputation smearing, defamation, financial loss, professional life, physical safety, psychological and emotional harm, dignity, health, alienation from friends and family, and suppression/silencing of online personal expression.

These analyses are done with the intention of identifying strategies for intervention, subversion, responses to perpetrators, and most of all strategies for protection and healing for targeted women.


Bailey, Moya (14 March 2010). “They aren’t talking about me…”. The Crunk Feminist Collective. The Crunk Feminist Collective. [Web log] Retrieved February 16, 2017 from

Bailey, M. (2014, April 27). More on the origin of misogynoir. Moyazb. [Web log]. Retrieved February 16, 2017 from

Hamilton, Trudy. (2014, April 28). Explanation of misogynoir. Gradient Lair. [Web log]. Retrieved February 16, 2017 from

Jane, Emma A. “Your a Ugly, Whorish, Slut” Understanding E-bile.Feminist Media Studies 14.4 (2014): 531-546.

Jane, Emma A. “‘Back to the kitchen, cunt’: speaking the unspeakable about online misogyny.” Continuum 28, no. 4 (2014): 558-570.

Pew Research Center, October 2014, “Online Harassment” Retrieved February 16, 2017 from

Spillers, Hortense J. “Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe: An American Grammar Book.” Diacritics (1987): 65-81.

Weheliye, Alexander G. “Pornotropes.” Journal of Visual Culture 7, no. 1 (2008): 65-81.

Weheliye, Alexander. Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2014.

The Women’s Media Center. “Online Abuse 101.” The WMC Speech Project. [Website]. Retrieved February 16, 2017 from

Invited Panelist-Duke University: African American Theology & the Arts: A Symposium Featuring Ailey I

African American Theology & the Arts: A Symposium Featuring Ailey II
The symposium was part of a partnership between Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts, Duke Divinity School Office of Black Church Studies, the Duke University Department of African & African American Studies, Duke Dance, and Duke Performances.

Closing Panel: “Sinner Wo/man: Black Theology, and Popular Culture”

Presentation: “Auntie Fee and Sweet Treats for the Kids: Ghetto Gastro-Porn, YouTube Micro-celebrity, and Cooking up Class with a Trash-Talking Thug”

Conference Presentation: Media, Gender & Religion

The Sixth International Conference on Media, Gender & Religion hosted by The Center for Media, Religion and Culture
January 7-10, 2016   University of Colorado Boulder

Panel:Gender, Violence and Media: Representation, Protest, Surveillance
Chair: Polly McLean, University of Colorado Boulder, USA

Elonda Clay, VU University, Amsterdam, “Please Use My Story, Please Use My Tragedy, Please Use My Broken Heart”: The Role of Media in Shaping U.S. Black Mothers’ Repertoire of Protest Against Police Violence”

Samira Rajabi, University of Colorado Boulder, USA: “The Ritual of Viewing: Myths Fostered by INGO Representations and the Gendering of Victims”

Ruth Tsuria, Texas A&M University, USA: “Jewish Sexuality Online – Open Spaces?”