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The Colors of Nature 
Culture, Identity, and the Natural World 
by Alison H. Deming and Laurette Savoy 
Milkweed Editions, 2002
 
     With a breakthrough collection of essays by writers of many cultural backgrounds, this book challenges the dominance of Euro-American ideas and attitudes in America's nature writing and its environmental movement. The contributors to its pages are descendents of indigenous peoples from Africa, Hawaii, Japan, the Middle East, and the Caribbean, as well as the Americas both north and south. They write, in this anthology, about their relationships with the natural world and how their lifeways, identity and community are tied to the environment from which they came or in which they are living.
 
     The link between social injustice and environmental destruction, rarely considered in the "white" pages of most nature books, gets a lot of attention here. While most of the writers reaffirm the importance of nature in their culture and personal lives, many also point an accusing finger at the racism of both environmental degradation and preservation. Toxic dumping, strip mining, oil spills, erosion and pollution are all more likely to be found near populations of color, or in areas cherished or even worshipped by minority populations. These are not the places that inspire well-funded conservation efforts. Ancestral burial grounds, remote reservation lands, hardscrabble farms and tribal fisheries are sacrificed to protect resorts and timeshares and weekend getaways. Racial and economic imperialism is present in both the wasting of nature and in its preservation. C O N T R I B U T O R S 
Francisco X. Alarcón 
Joseph Bruchac 
Robert D. Bullard 
Pualani Kanaka’ole Kanahele 
Jamaica Kincaid 
Yusef Komunyakaa 
Diane Glancy 
Ray Gonzalez 
bell hooks 
Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston  
David Mas Masumoto 
Gary Paul Nabhan 
Melissa Nelson 
Sandra Jackson-Opoku 
Louis Owens 
Enrique Salmon  
Al Young
   
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