Sampling of Diversity and Environment Blogs and Websites

This is an exciting time with many blogs and websites focusing on diversity and the environment.

Here is a sampling of the ones I visit the most with some amazing people behind the sites:

Brown Girl Going Green

Chocolate & Arugula

Eco Soul Wisdom

Jarid Manos (Ghetto Plainsman)

Legacy on the Land

Outdoor Afro

What are some of your favorites? Which blogs and websites do you visit regularly? I’d love to learn more.

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A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

Think of the following as pages torn from my journal . . .

It was a busy week. It ran from sharing about Rooted in the Earth: Reclaiming the African American Environmental Heritage to watching a grasshopper to seeing the Braves and the Rockies play at Turner Field.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010: For the first time, I shared at the Candler School of Theology, Emory University about Rooted in the Earth out in August 2010. I focused on African Americans, religion, and the environment, reading the introduction to my religion chapter as part of a Creation Care panel. I shared my “Owl” and “Boy Scouts” blogs on a screen in a smart room. Oh technology! And I closed out by sharing about Outdoor Afro and Keeping it Wild, a blog and organization, respectively, that have been sources of emotional and spiritual support through their work and service. I was grateful three friends–Norman, Jennifer, and Melissa–came out to support me.

Saturday, April 17: Onto the grasshopper–at least I think it was a grasshopper. I was waiting in a parking lot for Toni and Arlinda to arrive to go premium outlet shopping. I saw a lady walk by and she stumbled. The grasshopper–I’ll call him Fred–was big enough for her to feel under her feet as she let out a yelp. As she walked away, I took a closer look at the insect–brown with some green stripes. I kept hoping Fred would hop off. I think he was injured. Or maybe the chilly morning slowed him down.

And then my macabre side came out. There were several small birds hopping about and I thought one would grasp Fred in its beak. I watched for about 20 minutes. Perhaps this didn’t happen because of the grasshopper was almost the length of one of the birds. Pretty big. When my friends came I had to drive away not knowing the fate of the grasshopper: Did he hop away? Was he snatched up by a bird? Did he simply die to become a husk in a few days?

Sunday, April 17: My second time out with the book at Cascade United Methodist Church.

I really enjoyed meeting people and talking to them at Meet the Authors. And Ruth who had her own book and table, pulled people over to my table. Thanks Ruth! I also made friends with Jahbaar, a little boy. His mom had a table too and he was there to help her.

I capped my Sunday off with an afternoon at Turner Field watching the Braves and Rockies. Can you beat weather in the 70’s, sunshine, and Astro Turf on Family Day at the ballpark? Look at that little guy surrounded by the umpires!

It’s been a great week . . . a busy week.

The Oscars: Avatar, Hurt Locker, and the Environment

Na'vi Blue, Avatar

The Oscars are coming. Watch the 82nd Academy Awards on Sunday, March 7, 2008 on ABC. Why? Because of the environmental themes, that’s why. I’m not going to cover everything but here are some of my picks, of course based on, yes, the environment.

AVATAR is my number one pick, not because it had the best actors, not because of a fabulous screenplay but because of the environmental justice themes. Go to Rue Mapp’s Outdoor Afro to learn more about the connection to environmental justice and environmental racism in the film.

Next in the running is District 9, another film with environmental themes. The aliens who land in Johannesburg, Africa are a metaphor for apartheid in Africa, segregation in the US, and racism around the world. Their ship breaks down and the South Africans responds by corralling the insect aliens into a camp–a garbage dump, a shanty-town of shacks–in much the same way the US did with the Japanese during World War I with internment camps in the deserts of California and Nevada. The movie also points to how much humans, citizens, and aliens, illegal aliens or immigrants, are very much the same. I also love science fiction so there.

District 9

My third pick is THE HURT LOCKER. It’s all about the Iraqi landscape. White hot sun. Dry desert. The acting and screenplay are also amazing focusing on adrenalin junkies and post-traumatic stress syndrome among American soldiers in Iraq. So there are also themes of health and medicine in a great film.

So onto another category. Since JULIA AND JULIA was not nominated for Best Picture, Meryl Streep for Best Leading Actress will represent for the entire movie. Part of the film is set in Brooklyn. One of the Julias writes her blog on cooking all of of Julia Child’s French cuisine recipes while living above a storefront in Brooklyn. Concrete. Asphalt. Metal bars on doors and windows. It may not be everyone’s ideal environmental paradise but it’s what many a city-dweller is accustomed to compared to the wild. And we can watch the foodways of a Brooklynite cooking French food and an American in Paris coming up with a French cookbook. A bit convoluted but it all works for me. So Meryl Streep gets my Best Actress nod.

So here is the big Barbara Walter’s question she often asked during her Oscar special that precedes the award ceremony: if you were a tree, what tree would you be? And I’ll add why did you choose that tree. I am a Gingo Biloba tree because I saw so many planted in squares of earth that was surrounded by concrete when I worked in Manhattan.

Gingko Biloba

I haven’t seen all the movies nominated in the Best Picture category but hope to as I search for other environmental themes on the big screen. See you at the Oscars.