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Black Activism and Resistance in the 21st Century

Georgia Tech resources on Black activism and social issues in the 21st century.

Brief resources on health and environment

The short videos below help you get an understanding of health and environmental disparities for Black communities. 


Keith C. Ferdinand, MD, outlines factors that drive the disparities in health care and outcomes for racial/ethnic minorities, touching on the historical context.


The harm that comes with rising seas and contaminated water systems isn’t evenly distributed. To the contrary: Those who are already disadvantaged by race, wealth, and income are usually the most affected by environmental disasters. Without recognizing that inequality, we’re not always solving the problems with our water, air, and soil in ways that serve the people who need it most — which is why environmental justice is a critical part of planning a green future that’s good for everyone.

While previous studies in environmental equity found positive relationships between tree canopy and socioeconomic/demographic status of neighborhoods, few examined how changes in tree canopy are associated with changes in socioeconomic/demographic status. This study confirms that the relationship between them in Atlanta is changing and the hypothesis of inequitable distribution of tree canopy concerning demographic attributes cannot be fully supported beyond 2000. 

In-depth resources on health and environment

The books and video linked below will give you in-depth information on the effects of systemic racism on health and environment. The short resources above this list will help you understand the complex topics included. Further resources can be found in the Georgia Tech Library catalog


African Americans today continue to suffer disproportionately from heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems. In Caring for Equality David McBride chronicles the struggle by African Americans and their white allies to improve poor black health conditions as well as inadequate medical care--caused by slavery, racism, and discrimination--since the arrival of African slaves in America. 

Black LGBT Health in the United States: The Intersection of Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation focuses on the mental, physical, and spiritual aspects of health, and considers both risk and resiliency factors for the Black LGBT population. This collection fills a gap in current scholarship by providing information about an array of health issues like cancer, juvenile incarceration, and depression that affect all subpopulations of Black LGBT people, especially Black bisexual-identified women, Black bisexual-identified men, and Black transgender men.

Loretta Ross, cofounder of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, and Whitney Robinson, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health will discuss issues at the intersection of race, medicine, and reproductive justice. This public dialogue is the 2018 spring public event of the Georgia Tech Race & Biomedicine Working Group. It was organized in collaboration with the Black Feminist Think Tank.

This event is supported by the Georgia Tech College of Sciences and Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, as well as Spelman College. 


Lessons in Environmental Justice provides an entry point to the field by bringing together the works of individuals who are creating a new and vibrant wave of environmental justice scholarship, methodology, and activism. The 18 essays in this collection explore a wide range of controversies and debates, from the U.S. and other societies. An important theme throughout the book is how vulnerable and marginalized populations--the incarcerated, undocumented workers, rural populations, racial and ethnic minorities--bear a disproportionate share of environmental risks.

To be poor, working-class, or a person of color in the United States often means bearing a disproportionate share of the country's environmental problems. Starting with the premise that all Americans have a basic right to live in a healthy environment, Dumping in Dixie chronicles the efforts of five African American communities, empowered by the civil rights movement, to link environmentalism with issues of social justice.