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According to the National Park Service, between 1870 and 1930, hundreds of thousands of white people, African Americans, and European immigrants came to West Virginia to work in the coal mines. For Black coal miners, this backbreaking work was an opportunity to escape the Jim Crow South and build a better life for themselves and their families. By 1909, African Americans made up over 26% of West Virginia mine workers, yet their contributions to mining are largely forgotten.
While segregation and institutionalized racism were still prevalent in West Virginia, as Expatalatchians explained, the state government was not as harsh in handing down de jure discrimination, though the unparalleled control that coal companies had over the miners’ lives worsened the conditions of working-class Black miners.
Why This Matters: As Mustafa Santiago Ali, Vice President of Environmental Justice, Climate, and Community Revitalization for the National Wildlife Federation, explained, as we work toward a just transition for American workers, we cannot forget the sacrifices, struggles and fight for justice that Black miners navigated. Miners helped form the American economy in a significant way, but now as we work to develop the energy of the future we cannot leave anyone behind and must ensure that those previously unseen are called to help shape this future.
Earlier this year, the NY Times’ Bill Broad shone a spotlight on the fine work of Linda Zall, who was a leader in using the CIA’s spy satellites to gather and analyze climate change data and intelligence for the government.
This past week, Our Daily Planet got a chance to sit down with the Right Honorable David Lammy, Member of Parliament for Tottenham, as well as the Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and Shadow Lord Chancellor in Keir Starmer’s Shadow Cabinet. We were inspired to talk to David after a recent TED Talk he […]
The Wheelabrator waste-to-energy incinerator is Baltimore’s biggest standing source of air pollution. Its smokestacks send toxic mercury, lead, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides into the air off of I-95 in South Baltimore, whose residents are primarily Black and low-income.
Why This Matters: High polluting incinerators like the Wheelabrator facility are both harmful and expensive.
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