Black Churchgoers, Environmental Activism and the Preservation of Nature in Miami, Florida
Department of Conflict Resolution Studies
Journal of Ecological Anthropology
This paper examines connections in three case studies of Black churchgoers in Miami and their views toward the natural environment, from environmental attitudes to activism. There were four major findings in the research. First, there is a link between the preservation of Black history and the preservation of the environment among Black churchgoers who feel a strong connection to rural life. Second, these case studies dispute the stereotype of Black churchgoers as less concerned about the environment due to pressing social concerns in Black neighborhoods. This stereotype artificially separates environmental and social issues. Third, public access to public lands is a basic and important right espoused by these Black churchgoing activists. Fourth, spirituality impacts environmental sentiments among Miami’s churchgoing Blacks. Possessing an understanding of how Black spirituality, history and local concerns relate to the environment adds to the sparse literature on the subject. The discussion also provides information for policy makers interested in bridging gaps between Black churchgoers and the “mainstream” environmental protection movement, to the benefit of both local communities and the overall ecosystem.
Smith-Cavros, E. M. (2006). Black Churchgoers, Environmental Activism and the Preservation of Nature in Miami, Florida. Journal of Ecological Anthropology, 10 (1), 33-44. https://doi.org/10.5038/2162-45188.8.131.52