An Interview with Melanin & Sustainability Style
This past June, Dominque Drakeford — the founder of Melanin & Sustainability Style — interviewed Michael on the inspiration behind Brown Environmentalist, and asked some deeper questions into the "why".
Take a look at the excerpt below:
POC HAVE A RICH HISTORY WITH NATURE THAT IS VERY RARELY SHARED IN TRADITIONAL EDUCATIONAL SPACES — WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS?
Unfortunately but also logically speaking, the history of POC with nature (specifically) doesn’t exist in a vacuum outside of the rest of POC history and its “management”, where we’ve been purposefully erased and continue to be purposefully erased. It isn’t shared because it would also mean admitting to the steep racism embedded in the US’s environmental movement, or even admitting what “America’s Best Idea” really means. What are National Parks, really? Stolen land first and foremost. Stolen so that they could be “preserved” and kept only for the affluent and white, and furthermore at once also denying that they were being preserved just fine by indigenous communities beforehand and didn’t need an imposed colonizer framework. So yes, it’s very rarely shared and in many cases when it is it’s either 1. shared from a white perspective/lens still or 2. doesn’t come from a holistic, POC-led narrative. Or what I like to call “impacted storytelling”: it should be the folx who are most affected by an issue that should be the ones leading the discussion and the storytelling behind it.
To read the full interview, please follow the link here.