NEW WORKING HISTORY EPISODE FOCUSES ON THE FIGHT FOR ENVIRONMENTAL AND CIVIL RIGHTS JUSTICE IN A “TOXIC TOWN”
SLSA’s latest Working History podcast, “Justice for a Toxic Town,“ is available for listening on iTunes and SoundCloud. Professor Ellen Griffith Spears of the University of Alabama, author of Baptized in PCBs: Race, Pollution, and Justice in an All-American Town, discusses the decades long struggle for environmental and civil rights justice in Anniston, Alabama, and broader lessons to be learned from this fight to address one community’s exposure to toxic chemicals. The episode is hosted by Beth English, president of SLSA.
Ellen Griffith Spears is an associate professor at the University of Alabama with a joint appointment in the interdisciplinary New College and the Department of American Studies. She is the author of Baptized in PCBs: Race, Pollution, and Justice in an All-American Town (University of North Carolina Press, 2014). The book is the winner of the 2014 Arthur J. Viseltear Prize in public health history, given by the Medical Care Section of the American Public Health Association, and the Francis B. Simkins Award, awarded by the Southern Historical Association. She is the author of several book chapters, and in 1998 produced The Newtown Story: One Community’s Fight for Environmental Justice, a collaborative oral documentary project. Spears’ research and teaching focus on nineteenth- and twentieth-century U.S. environmental and civil rights history; competing scientific, medical and legal claims in environmental public health; and ethnographic and oral documentary studies of race, class, gender, and place in the U.S. South.