Race, Health and Violence in Urban America, 1945-1980

Fall, 1994

Gerald Markowitz  (212-387-1382; 666-2559)
David Rosner  (212-237-8458)

During the past decade public health and medical personnel
have begun to define violence among the young as a public
health problem. Mental health professionals,
epidemiologists, criminologists speak of an "epidemic" or
"rash" of crime and disorder while the broader public argues
over the biological basis of abnormal behavior.
Sociobiological and eugenics notions are re-entering popular
discussions and the search for a genetic basis for asocial
actions is accelerating. This course looks at the recurring
historical arguments over the relationship between biology
and abnormality, race and violence. It will inspect the
subtle uses and misuses of science in explaining social
disorder using both primary and secondary materials of urban
and health historians and sociologists, public health and
biology. The class will be conducted as a seminar
investigating the intellectual, social and political
currents that shape current debates. Students will be
expected to read current newspapers and technical journals
and address contemporary debates over the government
initiatives in violence research and Genome mapping. A paper
that addresses an aspect of the relationship between
America's health experience and the changing social
landscape will be required.


Aug. 30

Readings: In Class news accounts of the Violence Initiative.

Sept. 13
Darwinism, Social Darwinism and Eugenics, I

Darwin, "On the Races of Man," in Charles Darwin,
The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex,
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1871, 1981; Gloria
Marshall, "Racial Classification, Popular and Scientific,"
in Sandra Harding, ed., The "Racial" Economy of Science:
Toward a Democratic Future, Bloomington: Indiana University
Press, 1993; Gould, "American Polygeny and Craniometry
before Darwin: Blacks and Indians as Separate, Inferior
Species," in Stephen Jay Gould, The Mismeasure of Man, New
York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1981; Hofstadter, "The Vogue
of Spencer" and "William Graham Sumner: Social Darwinist,"
in Richard Hofstadter, Social Darwinism in American Thought.
Boston: Beacon press, 1944, 1955.

Sept. 20
Darwinism, Social Darwinism and Eugenics, II

Readings: Kevles, "Out of Eugenics: The Historical Politics
of the Human Genome," in Daniel J. Kevles and Leroy Hood,
The Code of Codes: Scientific and Social Issues in the Human
Genome Project, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1992;
Nancy Leys Stefan and Sander L. Gilman, "Appropriating the
Idioms of Science: The Rejection of Scientific Racism,"in
Sandra Harding, ed., The "Racial" Economy of Science;
Dorothy Nelkin, "The Social Power of Genetic Information,"
in Kevles and Hood, Code of Codes.

Sept. 27
The "Misuse" of Science

Reading: Jim Jones, Bad Blood, New York, 1993.

Oct. 4
The Origins of the Urban Crisis: The Northern Migration

Reading: Jacqueline Jones, The Dispossessed: America's
Underclass from the Civil War to the Present, New York:
Basic Books, 1992, especially Part III, "The Southern
Diaspora in the Twentieth Century," and Nicholas LeMann, The
Promised Land: The Great Migration and How it Changed
America, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991, especially Parts 1
and 2, "Clarksdale" and "Chicago."

Oct. 11
The Urban Crisis: 1960s

Reading: Kenneth Clark, Dark Ghetto: Dilemmas of Social
Power, Hanover, N.H.: Wesleyan University Press, 1965, 1989,
and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, "The Moynihan Report."

Oct. 18
Social Segregation and Mental Health: 1960-1980

Readings: Markpowitz and Rosner, Children, Race, and Power
Rosner and Markowitz, "Race, Foster Care, and the Politics
of Abandonment," AJPH, 87(Nov. 1997).

The Violence Initiative
Speaker: Gerard Ferguson, PhD

Reading: "Lesser Breeds without the Law," in Paul Gilroy,
There Ain't No Black in the Union Jack, (Chicago, 1991).

Nov. 1
Sociobiology and the Modern Misuses of Science

Reading: Richard Lewontin, Biology as Ideology, New York:
Harper Perennial, 1993; Pat Shipman, "Facing Racial
Differences - Together," Chronicle of Higher Education,
August 3, 1994, Section 2, B1-2.

Nov. 8
Environmental Racism

Case Materials on the Chemical Industry, specifically,
Shintech in Convent, Louisiana


Nov. 15    Intellectual Violence: IQ, Underclass Debate, 
      Educational Reform

Nov. 29    Popular Culture, Eugenics and Racial Stereotypes

Dec.  6   Women, Popular Culture and Sociobiology

Dec.  13  Environmental Racism

Dec.  20   Human Genome Project and the Violence Initiative

The following books are available at the John Jay College
bookstore, 445 West 59th St.   
  Kenneth B. Clark, Dark Ghetto
  Jacqueline Jones, The Dispossessed
  James Jones, Bad Blood
  Daniel Kevles, In the Name of Eugenics
  Daniel Kevles and Leroy Hood, The Code of Codes 
  Richard Lewontin, Steven Rose and Leon Kamin, Not 
    in Our Genes
  Richard Lewontin, Biology as Ideology
  Markowitz, Gerald and David Rosner, Children, Race, and
    Power: Kenneth and Mamie Clark's Northside Center


Author:        Jones, Arthur
Article Title:    Activists ready to fight environmental
Source Date:    National Catholic Reporter Jan 14, 1994,
          v30n11, p.3
Special Features:  Illustration
Abstract: Activists are ready to fight an emerging problem
known as "environmental racism," in which poor and minority
communities are targeted for landfill and toxic waste
locations. The Environmental Equal Rights Act, which deals
with environmental racism and is designed to prevent it, is
Location:      National Catholic reporter. John Jay
          Microfilm Cabinets (Non-Circulating)
Call No.:      AP2 .N234
Article Title:    Books digest: Confronting Environmental
          Racism: Voices from the Grassroots edited
          by Robert D. Bullard.
Source Date:    Ecologist Jan 1994, v24n1, p. 37
Authors:      Hutchings, Vicky
Article Title:    Green gauge
Source/Date:    New Statesman & Society Mar 11, 1994,
          v7n293, p. 31
Special Features:  Illustration
Abstract: The topic of environmental racism was addressed at
a Feb 1994 conference of the American Association for the
Advancement of Science. Environmental racism plays a key
role in deciding who gets toxic waste dumped on them.
Location:      New statesman society. Baruch
Authors:      Rose, Mark
Article Title:    NAACP fumin' over rubber plant
          in West Texas
Source/Date:    Crisis (NAACP) Feb 1994, v101n2, p.
Special Features:  Photograph
Abstract: A group of more than 230 South Odessa TX
residents, who are mostly black and Hispanic, have charged
that there is a direct connection between their health
problems and emissions from the Dynagen synthetic
rubber-making plant. A lawyer for the NAACP is representing
the group and believes it is a classic case of environmental
Source/Date:    New Statesman & Society mar 11, 1994,
          v7n293, p. 31
Location:      John Jay Microfilm Cabinets
Call No.:      AP4 .N66
Article Title:    NAACP fumin' over rubber plant
          in West Texas.
Source/Date:    Crisis (NAACP) Feb 1994, v101n2, p.
Location:      Baruch Periodicals
Call No.:      Bound vols. shelved by title
Other Info:      Latest issues at Periodicals Desk.
Current Issues:    v.101: no.3 (1994:Apr.) v.101: no.1
Library Has:    v. 78 (1971)-v. 100 (1993)
          The Crisis
Location:      John Jay Microfilm Cabinets
Call No.:      E185.5 C92
Authors:      Maclean, Alair
Article Title:    Bigotry and poison
Source/Date:    Progressive Jan 1993, v57n1, p. 14
Special Features:   Photograph
Abstract: Fighting environmental racism--the link between
the location of polluting industries and race--is the goal
of the Gulf Coast Tenants' Organization, which is based din
baton rouge LA. The tenants' group, which was formed ten
years ago to
Authors:      Lavelle, Marianne
Article Title:    Community activists can push companies
          to take extra steps.
Source/Sate:    National Law Journal Aug 30, 1993,
          v15n52, p. S5
Special Features:  Graph
Abstract: A recent survey of corporate general counsel
revealed a majority who condemned that community activism
can have an affirmative effect on a company's environmental
performance. However, a larger majority discounted most
environmental racism claims.
Authors:      Lavelle, Marianne
Article Title:    Congressional hearing: Environmental
          racism targeted.
Source/Date:    National Law Journal Mar 1, 1993, v15n26,
Special Features:  Photograph
Abstract: A two-day congressional hearing in Mar 1993 on
environmental justice will feature testimony from people who
have been fighting pollution in minority communities as well
as lobbyists. Reasons for the hearing are given.
Authors:      Collin, Robert W.
Article Title:    Environmental equity and the need for
          government intervention: Two proposals.
Source/Date:    Environment Nov 1993, v35n9, p. 41-43
Abstract: Environmental equity, or environmental racism,
refers to the need to redress the current injustice that
citizens in polluted environments are disproportionately
poor people and
Article Title:    Environmental equity and the need for
          government intervention
Source/Date:    Environment Nov 1993, v35n9, p. 41-43
Associated Library Holdings: CUNY Online Catalog Environment
Location:      Baruch Periodicals
Call No.:      bound vols. shelved by title.
Current issues:    V.36: no.4 (1994:May) v.36: no.1
Library Has:    v.15: (1973)-v.34 (1992)
Article Title:    Environmental equity and the need for
          government intervention:
Source/Date:    Environment Nov 1993, v35n9, p. 41-43
Location:      John Jay Microfilm Cabinets
Call No.:      TD172 .E5
Library Has:    v.11 (1969)-v.35 (1993)
Authors:      Minter, Stephen G.
Article Title:    Environmental injustice?
Source/Date:    Occupational Hazards Aug 1993, v55n8,
Special Features:  Photograph
Abstract: S 1161 and HR 2105 have been introduced in
response to the idea that there is a correlation between
environmental pollution and the socioeconomic status of
communities.  An editorial discusses how the failure of
companies to take "environmental racism" seriously could be
an injustice to their well-being.
Location:      Baruch  Microforms Room
Call No.:      Microfilm shelved by title
Library Has:    v.42 (1980)-v.55 (1993)
Authors:      Nixon, Will
Article Title:    Environmental racism: People of Color
          Environmental Groups Directory.
Source/Date:    E: The Environmental Magazine Jan 1993,
          v4n1, p.45
Abstract:      Review
Article Title:    Environmental racism in Louisiana
Source/Date:    Radio Program: Weekend
          Edition-Saturday--NPR May 15, 1993,
          Program n1019, p. --
Abstract: Minority communities near Baton Rouge LA say they
are experiencing environmental racism by polluting
industries such as chemical plants and hazardous waste
Authors:      Jones, Stephen C.
Article Title:    EPA targets' environmental racism'.
Source/Date:    National Law Journal Aug 9, 1993, v15n49,
          p. 28,34+
Special Features:  Illustration
Abstract: EPA administrator Carol M. Browner has vowed to
eliminate "environmental racism" the phenomenon in which
minority neighborhoods bear a larger environmental burden
than white neighborhoods. Browner's efforts' implications
for the US business community are considered. 
Authors:      Jones, Stephen C.
Article Title:    Inequities of industrial siting
Source/Date:    National Law Journal Aug, 1993, v15n50
          p.20, 24
Special Features:  Illustration
Abstract: In Mar 1993, Clarice Gaylord, the EPA's director
of Environmental Equity, indicated that Title VI of the
Civil Rights Act 1964 may apply to the agency's
decision-making, abandoning the position the EPA had taken
since 1971.  The policy change's legal implications for
plaintiffs in environmental racism cases are examined. 
Authors:      Borzo, Greg
Article Title:    Not in my backyard:
Source/Date:    Human Rights Fall 1993, v20n4, p. 26-29
Special Features:  Photograph
Abstract: Since the burden of adverse environmental impacts
falls disproportionately on people of color and/or low
income populations, the Section of Individual Rights and
Responsibilities cosponsored a resolution to the American
Bar Association's House of Delegates in New York calling on
both public and private entities to equalize the burden. 
Article Title:    A place at the table.
Source/Date:    Sierra May 1993, v78n3, p. 50-58+
Special Features:  Photograph
Abstract: Armed with proof of w hat has become known as
"environmental racism," a loose alliance of church, labor,
civil rights and community groups arose to demand
environmental justice, and part of doing so meant
confronting the so-called "Group of Ten," the US's
largest--and largely white--environmental groups, and
bluntly accusing them of racism.  In a roundtable
discussion, Vivien Li, Carl Anthony, Richard Moore, Benjamin
Chavis and other environmental justice. 
Article Title:    A place at the table.
Source/Date:    Sierra May 1993, v78n3, p.50-58+
          Associated Library Holdings:
          CUNY Online Catalog
Location:      Baruch Periodicals
Call No.:      Ask at Periodicals  Desk.
Current Issues:    v.79:no.3 (1994:May/June) v.75:no.1
Article Title:    Readings on environmental justice:
          Confronting Environmental Racism: Voices
          from the Grassroots edited by Robert D.
Source/Date:    Multinational Monitor Dec 1993, v14n12,
Abstract:      Review
Authors:      Cooper, Marc.
Article Title:    The sickness on Evelina Street
Source/Date:    Village Voice Sep 7, 1993, v38n36, p.
Special Features:  Photograph
Abstract: For the lat 40 years, defense contractor Hughes
Aircraft has dumped trichloroethylene near a Chicano
neighborhood in Tucson AZ.  By most estimates, 50,000
Tucsonians drank contaminated water. The case is an
appalling ex Environment Activism. 
Authors:      Arrandale, Tom
Article Title:    When the poor cry NIMBY
Source/Date:    Governing Sep 1993, v6n12, p. 36-41
Special Features:  Photograph
Abstract: Governments that want to put incinerators and
sewage treatment plants in poor communities are facing
charges of environmental racism. The complex political
dilemma is explored. 
Authors:      Lavelle, Marianne
Article Title:    Activist Tapped for Transition
Source/Date:    National Law Journal Dec 21, 1992, v15n16,
          p.3, 35
Special Features:  Photograph
Abstract: Robert D. Bullard, a sociologist who embarked on
some of the first studies of "environmental racism," was
named to Preselect Clinton's transition team.  Bullard's
appointment signals that the team will pay heed to the
burgeoning issue of race and pollution. 
Authors:      Tsao, Naikang
Article Title:    Ameliorating Environmental Racism: A
          Citizen's Guide to Combatting the
          Discriminatory Siting of Toxic Waste
Source/Date:    New York University Law Review May 1992,
          v67n2, p. 366-418
Abstract: Toxic waste dumps are prevalent in areas where
racial minorities and the poor live in the US.  Ways in
which individuals who already have a disproportionate number
of noxious facilities in their community may combat the
siting of new facilities are addressed, and the state and
federal legal remedies available to such citizens are
Authors:      Rees, Matthew
Article Title:    The Birth of 'Eco-Racism' : Black and
Source/Date:    New Republic Mar 2, 1992, v206n9, p.
Abstract: In recent years a growing  number of minority
environmentalist groups have been making charges of
environmental racism against their "mainstream" counterparts
and the rest of society with, among other things, the
accusation that toxic waste is being consciously directed at
minorities. The accusers would probably be on firmer ground
if they would city classism instead. 
Authors:      Coyle, Marcia
Article Title:    Company will not Build Plant
Source/Date:    National Law Journal Oct 19, 1992, v15n7,
Abstract: The small, predominantly black community of
Wallace LA, known as Cancer Alley, declared victory Oct 7,
1992 when Formosa Plastics Corp announced it would not build
the world's largest rayon and pulp processing plant in its
midst.  Opponents of the plant, including environmental
groups, charged that the plant was the embodiment of
environmental racism. 
Authors:      Tarshis, Lauren
Article Title:    Dumping on Minorities
Source/Date:    Scholastic Update (Teacher's Edition)
          apr 17, 1992, v124n15, p.16-17
Special Features:  Photograph, Illustration
Abstract: Government studies show that racial and ethnic
minorities suffer disproportionately from industrial
pollution.  Activists call this phenomena "environmental
racism," while waste companies say that it is just business.
Authors:      Wolcott, Robert M
          Milligan, Reina
          Reilly, William K.
Article Title:    Environmental Equity: EPA's Position
Source/Date:    EPA Journal Mar 1992, v18n1, p. 18-22
Special Features:  Photograph
Abstract: The administrator of the EPA responds to charges
of environmental racism--that the EPA gives less concern to
the environments of poor people. The findings of the EPA's
Environmental Equity Workgroup, convened by the 
Authors:      Meyer, EugeneL.
Article Title:    Environmental Racism
Source/Date:    Audubon jan 1992, v94n1, p. 30-32
Abstract: Toxic waste that nobody wants dumped near their
homes often finds its way to the neighborhoods of minority
groups.  The problems of "environmental racism" and what is
being done about it are discussed. 
Subject Descriptors:
          Environmental cleanup
          Hazardous substances
Article Title:    Environmental Racism
Source/Date:    Audubon Jan 1992, v94n1, p. 30-32
          Associated Library Holdings:
          CUNY Online Catalog
Location:      Baruch Periodicals
Call No.:      Bound vols. shelved by title
          Latest Issues at Periodicals Desk.
Current issues:    Missing: v.94: no.6 (1992:Nov/Dec)
          v. 96: no.3 (1994:May/June)
          v. 96: no.1 (1994 Jan/Feb)-
Library Has:    Missing issue: v.94:no.6 (1992:Nov/Dec)
Library Has:    v.75 (1973) -v.95 (1993)
Authors:      Arrandale, Tom
Article Title:    Environmentalism and Racism
Source/Date:    Governing Feb 1992, v5n5, p.63
Special Features:  Photograph
Abstract: Minority communities across the US are organizing
to fight toxic waste dumps, polluted rivers, smoke-belching
factories and smelly landfills that society almost always
places near poor rural towns or inner-city neighborhoods.
Although some minorities new these moves as examples of
environmental racism, the causes are much more complex than
Authors:      Sive, David
Article Title:    An environmentalist's view of
          "environmental racism".
Source/Date:    Environmental Law Fall 1992, v12n1, p.
Abstract: Environmentalists and their  organizations are no
more racist, and arguably much less so, that most advocates
of many other fairly well-defined political, social and
economic interest, their organizations and the public at
large.  The advocacy and promotion of their particular
ideologies involves bringing together persons whose views
may differ with other fields of public policy and law. 
Authors:      Cole, Luke W.
Article Title:    Remedies for Environmental Racism: A
          view from the field.
Source/Date:    Michigan Law Review Jun 1992, v90n7, p.
Abstract: Comments on Godsil's "environmental poverty law"
are offered by a lawyer who fought a toxic waste incinerator
using environmental poverty law. The poor and people of
color bear a disproportionate burden for pollution, making
the field ripe for litigation. 
Subject Descriptors:
          Environmental protection
Location:      John Jay Periodicals
Call No.:      K13 .I3
Current Issues:    v.92:no.5  (1994:Mar)
           v.92:no.4  (1994:Feb)
           v.92:no.3  (1993:Dec)
          v.92:no.2  (1993:Nov)
          v.92:no.1  (1993:Oct)
          v.91:no.8  (1993:Aug)
Authors:      Coyle, Marcia
Article Title:    Saying 'no' to Cancer Alley
Source/Date:    National Law Journal Sep 21, 1992, v15n3,
Special Features:  Photograph
Abstract: Opposition to the building of the Formosa Plastics
Group processing plant in Wallace LA is discussed. It is
said that there is environmental racism at work in Wallace
when the proximity of numerous chemical companies to
minority communities is examined.  The problems that the
poor face living in the area, which is known as  Cancer
Alley, are 
Authors:      Ervin, Mike
Article Title:    The Toxic Doughnut
Source/Date:    Progressive Jan 1992, v56n1, p. 15
Special Features:  Photograph
Abstract: The "Chicago Sun-Times" has called the Altgeld
Gardens housing project on Chicago's south side "a mine of
toxic hazards." Neighborhood resident Hazel Johnson operates
People for Community Recovery in order to battle
environmental racism. 
Authors:      Burbank, James
Article Title:    Activists of Color Are Confronting
          'Environmental Racism'.
Source/Date:    National Catholic Reported Oct 11, 1991,
          v27n44, p.7
Special Features:  Photograph
Abstract: The first meeting of the Southwest Network for
Environmental and Economic Justice (SNEEJ) may mark the
beginning of a new phase of environmental activism. 
African-American, Native American and Latino activists met
to protest the targeting of minority communities by
government agencies and corporations for polluting practice.
Location:      John Jay Microfilm Cabinets
Call No.:      AP2 .N234
Library Has:    v. 17(1981)-v.28 (1992)
Authors:      Siler, Julia Flynn
Article Title:    'Environmental Racism': It could be a
          messy fight
Source/Date:    Business week (Industrial/Technology
          Edition) May 20, 1991, n3214, p. 116
Special Features:  Photograph, Table
Abstract: A lawsuit by People for Clean Air & Water claims
that Chemical Waste Management Inc's decision to build a
toxic-waste incinerator near mostly Hispanic Kettleman City
CA was based on a national pattern of building such
facilities near minority areas. 
Authors:      Vidulich, Dorothy
Article Title:    People of Color Summit Condemns
          'Environmental Racism'.
Source/Date:    National Catholic Reporter Nov 8, 1991,
          v28n3, p.5
Abstract: Community leaders attending the  Oct 24-27, 1991
First National People of Color Leadership Summit on the
Environment agreed that the US's toxic wastes should not be
dumped on the poor.  What has been termed "environmental
racism" is discussed. 
Subject Descriptors:
          People of Color
          Hazardous substances
          Waste materials
Authors:      Godsil, Rachel D.
Article Title:    Remedying Environmental Racism
Source/Date:    Michigan Law Review Nov 1991, v90n2,
Abstract: A GAO report found that three out of four
hazardous waste landfills in the Southeast US were located
in majority black communities. Equity issues in the
placement of commercial hazardous waste facilities are
Subject Descriptors:
          Hazardous substances
Authors:      Steinhart, Peter
Article Title:    What Can We Do About Environmental
Source/Date:    Audubon May 1991, v93n3, p. 18-21
Special Features:  Photograph
Abstract: Even when the community of East  Los Angels CA
resists an attempt by a company to locate its toxic-spewing
factories there, the rules are different from those in more
affluent communities. 
Location:      Baruch Periodicals
Call No.:      Bound vols, shelved by title
Other Info:      Latest issues at Periodicals Desk.
Current Issues:    Missing:v.94: no.6 (1992:Nov/Dec)
          v.96:no.1 (1994: Jan/Feb)
Library Has:    Missing issue: v.94:no.6 (1992:Nov/Dec)
          v communities
Authors:      Elson, John
Article Title:    Dumping on the Poor
Source/Date:    Time Aug 13, 1990, v136n7, p. 46-47
Special Features:  Photograph
Abstract: Tens of thousands of impoverished people living in
poor areas in the inner cities and rural pockets of the US
are the victims of environmental racism.  Garbage dumps and
incinerators are being placed in poor communities, with may
people living near uncontrolled toxic-waste sites. 
Authors:      Holloway, Marguerite
Article Title:    Outfront: Get Out of Town
Source/Date:    Mother Jones Apr 1990, v15n3, p.17
Special Features:  Photograph
Abstract: The toxic Avengers of El Puente are profiled.  The
group was organized two years ago to fight "environmental
racism and adultism." 
Subject Descriptors:
          Toxic Avengers
Title:        Confronting environmental racism: voices from
          the grassroots
Edition:      1st Ed.
Publisher:      Boston, Mass. : South End Press, c1993
Subjects:      Environmental policy--United States
          Hazardous waste sites--United States
          Afro-Americans--Politics and government
          Racism--United States
          Minorities--US--Political activity
          Environmental policy--US--case studies
          Hazardous waste sites--US--case studies
          Afro-Americans--Politics and government--case
          Racism--US--case studies
Location:      John Jay Stacks HC 110.E5 c665 1993
Title:        Race and the incidence of environmental
          hazards: a time for discourse
Publisher:      Boulder: Westview Press, 1992
Subjects:      Environmental health--United States
          Minorities--United States--Health and
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