Climate Change Isn’t the First Existential Threat

People of color know all about building movements, courage, and survival

Photo: Library of Congress/Interim Archives/Getty Images

We need to talk about Jim Crow

Imagine these smiles being the last things you saw as you were humiliated, tortured, and murdered. Imagine your family seeing it, too, from a helpless distance. Let’s be clear: This was not only a Deep South phenomenon; this picture was taken in Indiana. Photo: Imagno/Getty Images

Black people of the not-too-distant past trembled for every baby born into that world. Sound familiar?

The 1917 Silent Parade in New York City was organized on the heels of the St. Louis race riots that left at least 200 people dead and about 6,000 homeless. Photo: Underwood and Underwood via Wikimedia Commons

The next time you want to “educate” communities of color about climate change, remember that they have even more to teach you about building movements, about courage, about survival.

Black folks have built some of the most powerful movements in U.S. history. And we have a whole lot to teach you about building an inclusive movement. Photo: Montecruz Foto via Flickr

Climate justice writer. Co-creator and co-host of the Hot Take podcast and newsletter. Southern girl and NYC woman. James Baldwin is my personal hero.