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The C.O.W.S. Dr. Sylvia Hood Washington’s Packing Them In Part 6

The Context of White Supremacy hosts our sixth study session on Dr. Sylvia Hood Washington’s Packing Them In: An Archaeology of Environmental Racism in Chicago, 1865-1954. An environmental epidemiologist, environmental engineer and environmental historian, Dr. Washington is Chief Environmental Research Scientist at Environmental Health Research Associates, LLC. With research experience examining the impact of industrial pollution on human health and ecosystems, she’s the creator and editor-in-chief of the first international environmental health disparities journal, Environmental Justice. We’ll continue examining her 2004 text, Packing Them In: An Archaeology of Environmental Racism in Chicago, 1865-1954. Chicago is a significant city in North America, and black people have sojourned to this region for over a century. Consequently, Whites have devoted a staggering amount of time, energy and resources to study, warehouse, terrorize and poison the black people of the “windy city.” During last week’s session Dr. Hood described the great migration of the late 19th and 20th century. Legions of black people labored to escape terrorism in the south and migrated to western and northern cities like Chicago. Consequently, northern Racists studied and terrorized black newcomers. In Chicago – and elsewhere – black people were regarded as a medical menace. Whites claimed black people were a vector for disease to contaminate pure Whites. However, Dr. Hood notes that one major result of the 1871 great Chicago fire was the relocation of vice – prostitution and gambling – to the black part of town. The reading also detailed the dozens of bombings used to terrorize and punish black residents for attempting to purchase houses in the White section of town. Even some Whites were subjected to violence for violating the rules of White Supremacy

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