For Blacks, the “environment” is the . . . White created environment, where the waste products of White space are dumped and the costs of White industry externalized. “Environmentalism” for Blacks has to mean not merely challenging the patterns of waste disposal, but also, in effect, their own status as the racialized refuse, the Black trash, of the White body politic.

(Charles W. Mills, “Black trash.” In Faces of Environmental Racism, 2001)

If slavery persists as an issue in the political life of Black America, is it not because of an antiquarian obsession with bygone days or the burden of a too-long memory, but because Black lives are still imperiled and devalued by a racial calculus and a political arithmetic that were entrenched centuries ago.

(Saidiya V. Hartman, Lose your mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route, 2007)

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