Air Of Injustice: A Reason To Celebrate Black History Month


by Lamar and Ronnie Tyler

February is Black History month. It’s a time when we celebrate the contributions African Americans have made to American society. Believe it or not, I have many environmental accomplishments to celebrate during Black History month this year.

You might say:

Ronnie, why are you celebrating? According to the study, Air of InjusticeAfrican Americans are disproportionally affected by power plant emissions because we tend to live closer to urban areas where power plants are located. And Ronnie, the US Department of Health and Human Services says that African Americans are 30% more likely to have asthma than White Americans, and are 3 times more likely to die from asthma. Ronnie, you’re an African American woman…didn’t you see the study that was released on Jan 4th by Boston University Medical center that suggests that air pollution may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes in African American women?

Yes, yes, yes, I am aware of all of those statistics and all of those studies. As an African American, I am constantly made aware of how we are disproportionally impacted by pretty much everything. I deal with this information the same way so many other African Americans deal with it: I check the facts and I take action.

During Black History Month, we celebrate the accomplishments of African Americans that have taken action in spite of the challenges that we face. And this is why, this month, I am happy to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of Lisa P. Jackson, the first African American to be named as the EPA administrator.

Lisa P. Jackson has dedicated much of her career to ensuring that our kids will breathe air that is free from dangerous pollutants. During her term, Administrator Jackson has been focusing on improving air and water quality, eliminating greenhouse gases, and protecting our communities from toxic pollutants. I am particularly happy about the fact that Administrator Jackson has a commitment to environmental justice. She works to make sure all Americans (regardless of their race, income, age, sex, etc), are treated fairly and have equal protections under the environmental laws and regulations that are designed to protect our communities.

There’s another reason I am celebrating Administrator Jackson’s leadership–the new Mercury and Air Toxic Standards. For the first time ever, we have national standards that will protect our families by requiring power plants to cut toxic emissions such as mercury, arsenic and cyanide, among others. The EPA estimates that by 2016, these new standards will prevent thousands of deaths and save billions of dollars each year as our health improves due to a cleaner environment.

Finally, I am celebrating because African American moms and dads can join with thousands of parents to fight for our kids’ right to clean air. We can share our feelings that we will not tolerate this air of injustice!

Please help me celebrate Black History Month and take action by joining the Moms Clean Air Force today!


Related Stories:

Black Herstory: Rosa Parks Did Much More Than Sit On A Bus

African Americans for Humanism Launch Awareness Campaign

Reclaiming The Cause: When Your Abuser Claims To Be A Feminist


Photo credit: Moms Clean Air Force


TONYA M5 years ago

I saw a clip of the “I have a Dream Speech” when I was 7 years old, and despite my in-laws burlesque treatment of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words (South Africa under Apartheid), I was spell bound and felt so utterly inspired by those wonderful words that I just knew I had to do everything I could to play my part in that vision.
I personally love Black History month, every year I discover a new person, who overcame, who made a difference, people we would never have heard about otherwise, people that can inspire us all. My schooling in South Africa and then England hardly mentioned any non European History, (a little on “Ancient History” Egypt, Greece, Vikings, Roman’s & Zulu/Native American – which really mostly just focused on how they lived). People highlighted in my History lessons were nearly all European Males. Sadly not one of them as inspiring as Gandhi, Dr. King Jr, Arch Bishop Tutu, Dr. Nelson Mandela, Alice Paul or Isabella Baumfree.

Berny P.
berny p6 years ago

we forget that WHITE PEOPLE share the same miseries and problems,.............

but alas their skin is not dark enough. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Everyone suffers these ills,so wake up and write to ALL races!

Kute Kenny
Kenny J6 years ago

Another "Po" black people story. I guess we forget that WHITE PEOPLE share the same miseries and problems,but alas their skin is not dark enough. Everyone suffers these ills,so wake up and wrtite to ALL races!

Grace Adams
Grace Adams6 years ago

I t is horrible that anybody, rich, poor, black, white, or green indian with pink spots, has to breathe poison. Maybe we are finally going to clean up some of the mess. We also need to cut way down on greenhouse gases to keep from tiping earth into a climate that will destroy civilization by being so hot and dry that ur crops will not grow and produce food in such a climate. Enhanced geothermal systems sounds like a good, sustainable substitute for coal for generatng baseload electricity.

Jutta N.
Past Member 6 years ago

Thank you for sharing. Why can't we respect others each day of the year not only in special occasions?

Ellen Mccabe
Ellen m6 years ago

With those that want to delete certain thing and actually rewrite the history books of our children we are in danger of history repeating we all need to make sure it doesn't happen.

What a boring world this would be w/o our melded diversity!

LM Sunshine
James Merit6 years ago

informative, thank you.

Rebecca S.
Rebecca S6 years ago

thanks. Why can't this just be everyday? Can't we just celebrate the contributions people of all majorities and minorities have made?

Winn Adams
Winn A6 years ago

Thanks for this very informative article.

Tina G.
Tina G6 years ago

Maybe it's just me, but why do we have to continually segregate people? Everyone keeps seperating themselves in their groups. Blacks, Hispanics etc. I do hear, now that the whites are becoming more and more the minority, that we are going to have a "white peoples" day. Really, do we need to keep doing this? The history of all the cultures are important, but do we need to keep labeling everyone?