Sound Rivers celebrates Black History Month

Protesters attempt to block the delivery of toxic PCB waste to a landfill in Warren County, N.C., in 1982. It was in response to the state’s decision to locate a hazardous waste landfill in a low-income, predominantly Black area of Warren County that the term “environmental racism” was first used by the Rev. Ben Chavis. (Photo by Jenny Labalme, Duke University archives)

February is Black History Month, a nationwide celebration lifting up the significant roles Black Americans have had in shaping U.S. history. In honor of Black History Month, Sound Rivers will be sharing weekly opportunities to learn more about how community activists have shaped environmental justice closer to home, starting with an NPR article exploring the history of environmental injustice — which first came to nationwide attention in 1982 when large protests were held opposing a toxic dump planned for a majority-Black neighborhood in Warren County, in the Tar-Pamlico watershed — and how people such as Devon Hall, of REACH, based in Duplin County, continue that work today.

Read about the history and ongoing environmental justice efforts in this article on the NPR website. 

We’re also sharing information about the Biden administration’s plans to address environmental racism in this article on and this one on E&E News.

We encourage all of our website’s visitors to take advantage of these learning opportunities!