See it our way : Black American environmental perspectives

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
T'Shari White (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Corey Johnson

Abstract: Various publications have acknowledged a lack of participation from Black Americans engaging in outdoor recreation and environmental activities in nature (Taylor, 1989; Floyd, 1999; Martin, 2004; Byrne, 2011; Finney, 2014; Mott, 2015, Pease, 2015). Some of these studies postulate that Black Americans do not engage in these activities as much as their White counterparts due to a lack of resources, access, and interest. Additionally, racism, discrimination, and exclusionary practices have been suggested factors as to why there is a lack of engagement from Black Americans. Although research has been substantial in identifying these causalities, there is little information on how the history of slavery and discrimination in the United States has influenced Black Americans’ perception of and visitation to natural spaces such as national parks and wildlands. The objective of this study is to investigate the influences of discrimination, racism, slavery, and racial violence (e.g., lynching) on Black Americans’ interactions with wilderness to determine if this is a viable reason as to why they do not often venture to these destinations. The cultural and generational trauma has impacted Black Americans’ perceptions of and experiences in wilderness, resulting in alternate pathways for Black American nature exploration. Such trauma has created a complex understanding of and relationship with nature for contemporary Black Americans. Implications of this research further our understanding of the relationship between race, nature, and the historical memories of Black Americans.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2022
Black Americans, Black Geographies, Cultural Trauma, Environmental Justice, Lynching, Slavery
African Americans $x Attitudes
Human beings $x Effect of environment on $z United States
Wilderness areas $z United States
Slavery $z United States $x History
Human ecology $z United States

Email this document to