Please support our programs

Being Black and Green: African-Americans & the Environment


Never miss a show! @ symbol icon Email Signup Spotify Logo Spotify RSS Feed Apple Podcasts

Oakland, CA Scraper krew, image courtesy of flickr user vkdir.

Communities across the country have embraced locally-grown food, fuel-efficient cars and other forms of environmentalism. While African-Americans haven’t been widely credited, they are amongst the vanguard creating positive change. On this edition, we take you to a resettlement community in North Carolina, sustainable farms in Wisconsin and on a bike ride in California, where local black communities are making long-term impacts on the environment.

Special thanks to producers Zoe Sullivan and Alton Byrd.


Robert Pierce, marketing manager of South Madison Farmer’s Market, Madison coordinator for Growing Power; Shelley Pierce, staff member of Growing Power; Javier Vasquez, intern at Growing Power-Madison; Paris Mogo, agriculture extension officer in Nairobi, Kenya; Gary R. Grant, executive director of Concerned Citizens of Tillery, and other Tillery residents; Jenna Burton and Nick James, founders of Red, Bike and Green.

Audio Extras

Wisconsin farmers
In largely rural Wisconsin, the state’s Department of Agriculture says there are only 63 farms owned by African Americans, out of more than 73,000 in operation today.  But a few of those remaining black farmers are trying reconnect the black community with their not-so-distant past, and help improve their community’s health in the process.  From Madison, Zoe Sullivan has the story.

Red Bike and Green
It’s been almost 20 years since the first Critical Mass bike ride. The large public ride now take place in more than 300 cities very month. And it has spawned some offshoots, with smaller groups of participants, and more focused goals. A group of African-Americans in Oakland, CA have created a local bike crew as a means to address issues affecting their community. It’s called Red Bike and Green. They attract a lot of attention when they ride, and they’re making a difference in the community. Making Contact’s Alton Byrd has more.

For More Information: 

South Madison Farmer’s Market Madison, WI
The Afri-Can FoodBasket North York, On Canada
Concerned Citizens of Tillery Tillery, NC
Red, Bike and Green Oakland, CA
Growing Power
Outdoor Afro
Life Is Living
Rooted in Community
The Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association
People of Kolor Everyday Ridin’
Critical Mass

Articles/Videos, etc.:

Pigford v. Glickman
Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University’s exhibit: “Remembering Tillery: Our Community, Our Own Land”


Travis Bigg, “Tibetan Serenity”
Joyful Sound Gospel, “I Shall Not Be Moved”
James Brown, “Soul Pride”

Author: IreneFlorez

Share This Post On