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Category Archives: fishermen

Vicki Smith from the Grio posted an article about the Demolle family in Pointe a la Hache, Louisiana.  They’re one of the many families on the Mississippi River Delta that lived off the once plentiful, healthy and delicious fish from the river.  But since the Deep Water Horizon oil leak has hemorrhaged millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, aquatic life has been chocked from their long-fished waters. The families that once lived off these shores now depend on on BP’s compensation checks and charity food. What I love about this article is it shows just how deeply connected we all are to the environment.    
When talking about environmental justice particularly for the black community, it’s a popular question:  "Why don’t more black people get involved in environmental issues?"  The answer is usually one of two: "They have other things to worry about like paying next month’s rent and putting food on the table." Or, "Oh, they’re just not educated enough to understand why they should care."  Both of these answers may be true in part.  But this story is a perfect example of where blacks communities lack fiscal stability or education that we assume are necessary for environmental consciousness.  Even here, the intimate connections to the land are profound.    
The Point a la Hache community and the hundreds of other fishing communities are stewards by necessity, not by option. And it’s these communities that are the first to suffer when the land is spoiled. Now that their relationship with the abundant shores has been severed, gone are the days of locally harvested shrimp, crabs, oysters, and fish.  Now it’s charity given peanut butter and jelly, beans, rice, and cheap "grind meats" like the hot dog and hamburger. 
Check out Vicki Smith’s article here

Photo courtesy of cccpublishing.com