Environmental Justice – A Personal Narrative

yli is My Story

Environmental Justice is something that has been done to make the world a slightly better place for Black people and people of color. Environmental Justice means making sure that people who look like me, people who look like the residents of cities, such as Los Angeles and Long Beach, are inhabited by Black and people of color. Being a Black person here in the United States is a bit of a challenge due to the bigotry and racism that is still deeply rooted here. However, the Environmental Justice law enacted and enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made things easier for me, since I now have equal access to food and water, as well as other basic environmental needs like anyone else.

Due to several protests in the early to late 1980’s regarding continuous “waste dump facilities,” and “pollution,” in ethnic neighborhoods and cities, primarily in southern states such as North Carolina, Environmental Justice was ‘born.’ Now people of all race and ethnic backgrounds can have “equitable” access to basic needs such as food and water. Grocery stores
with high quality food are now available for everyone, as well as water from brands such as Fiji and Essentia. Because of the EPA, I am able to eat food that will help me develop beautifully and not stunt my growth or my lifeline. My life has been incredibly vibrant and fulfilling, thanks to
Environmental Justice, because I was and am able to live in a nice home located in a well-developed suburban area. My family has also benefited from this, and my parents’ lifestyle is a lot healthier now than it was during their childhood.

Growing up, thanks to this justice platform, has been a blessing. My family and I indulge in eating healthy foods that have simple ingredients like whole grains and sea salt. Although we do eat less healthy foods from time to time, we take advantage of this and make sure the food that we eat has all or at least some of the five food groups. Worrying about contracting food borne diseases was not an issue either, because the food we ate barely had anything that could produce any of the sort. The water we drink is filtered thanks to the EPA; before, we used to drink bottled water because the water we had where we used to live at the time was tap, which is filled with impurities and bacteria. It is also thanks to the EPA that I do not have to worry about dying young from too much air pollution, because the air where I live is clean enough for me to breathe without coughing every five minutes.

Thanks to the EPA, I–as well as so many others–are now able to live a healthier lifestyle than my ancestors. Although many Black people and people of color have rights enacted by the EPA, it is not equally distributed, seeing as our country is still divided racially. A way we can bridge this divide is by leaving behind the racial differences that are unfortunately still visible in our country, so that we can equally have the access to clean food and clean water.