Kendriana Speaks About Environmental Racism and How the Green Liberation and Black Liberation Intersect

Last week, we had our first page takeover, curated by Kendriana Washington (@kendrianawashington) on IG. Kendriana Speaks About Environmental Racism and How the Green Liberation and Black Liberation Intersect.

Below are the three posts, created and authored by Kendriana:

1) Resourcefulness, ecological sustainability and the preservation of animals, the environment and it’s natural means is embedded in POC culture. Discouraging waste, avoiding excess, sharing in community, innovative reuse, and what White folks call “environmental activism” is the poetic livelihood of our existences. Green liberation rests within Black liberation and from our ancestry to present we’ve modeled how to fashion something from nothing for those who subsist on a culture of taking.

Global warming and the climate crisis is a byproduct of White capitalism and colonialism. As White owned corporations waste and pillage without regard, the ecology that Black and Brown people have respected for centuries continues to lose its balance. Hot Girl Summer has seen the warmest temperatures on record and as the earth heats up, fruit sized hail falls from the sky when it ain’t supposed to and severe weather events alter the migratory patterns of insects and animals. These locusts, hurricanes, and wildfires aren’t inevitable revelation, they’re a call to action. A call from the earth for POC to retrieve our lands, inheritance, future and time from those in power who continue to disrespect it. For us, by us...this ain’t the end of times. #blackfutures

2) The perfect example of environmental justice, respect and liberation in Black heritage is the clay or “mud” home. Beyond mere sustainability, it’s almost totally weather resistant and can survive for thousands of years, it’s also made of the earth and healing for the environment. I was reminded of this style of architecture after a conversation with one of my closest friends about Western xenophobia toward African culture and realized that over the last decade I’ve been a bit brainwashed by Western White “solutions” to the ecological crisis and sustainable living. The Whitewashed eco-friendly solution to housing is the rebranding of fast deteriorating mobile homes at half the size for quadruple the price and calling them “tiny homes,” Or coopting ancient Black and Brown ways of living as innovative/new age metaphysical trends. Not only do these homes center the totality of their surrounding ecosystems but they’re absolutely stunning and as resilient as the diaspora. These homes are art. 🌻Peep the culture vulture at the end charging 150k and making people build the house themselves.

3) One of my biggest issues with this White-washed environmental activist movement is the insensitive burden it places on POC communities to do an equal share of reversing the impact White supremacist capitalist colonialism has on the environment when POC haven’t committed any of the same mass ecological crimes. We’re told by people who are often complicit or passive about our oppression to use money we don’t have due to inequitable pay (that they often perpetuate) to buy reusable plastic kitchen bags under the guise of “less plastic waste” when we’ve already been storing our leftovers in the same set of Country Crock containers for the last 10 years. Telling us to give up foods that yield a high carbon footprint when we experience some of the greatest food disparities in the country🤔.

Meanwhile White owned companies dump their waste near our water sources, build their billowing toxic plants in our neighborhoods and transport garbage in metal shipping containers to Africa by the ton. As POC communities we can do what is in our means in addition to our existing work to reverse climate change but ultimately the fate of the movement and the responsibility of eco activists is to realize that much of the oppression that threatens green activist values has already taken Black and Brown lives long before the globe began to warm.

Leave a comment below and we’ll make sure to keep the conversation going. You can also view the posts on our Instagram feed here.