For decades, as green activists and intellectuals lamented the loss of the saltwater wetlands and tragic eliminations of thousands of species of animals, the people who have had the most direct impact of environmental decay upon their daily lives have been those who grew up in this countryâ€™s inner cities.
Among the myriad examples of non-sustainability within the inner city are; the numerous wasted lots, the dilapidated buildings, the boarded up houses, that fill the inner city with images of despair. Of course, the reasons for the conditions of these neighborhoods can be left up to debate, however, these conditions create a situation in which many urban youth, as a result of being totally disconnected from the natural environment are prone to throwing various kinds of garbage anywhere they like. This situation leaves many neighborhoods with areas which look like open landfills.
In fact, a primary way that most individuals come to recognize that they have crossed over into a "bad " neighborhood, are the poorly maintained roads, the uncollected amount and distribution of trash which begs the question which comes first, the ghetto or the grime?
The fact is, although inner cities are commonly considered to be the default environs where African American people often live, this has not always been the case. Many African Americans are only one generation removed from the farm and the soil. There are still many African Americans who have family members who still live in the country. The importance of the land is not in any way foreign to them. Many Latin and Asian American people are even less removed from their recent agricultural past.