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The Wrong Complexion for ProtectionHow the Government Response to Disaster Endangers African American Communities$
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Robert D. Bullard and Beverly Wright

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814799932

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814799932.001.0001

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Anatomy of Vulnerability

(p.1) Introduction
The Wrong Complexion for Protection

Robert D. Bullard

Beverly Wright

NYU Press

This book explores government responses to natural and man-made disasters, from hurricanes to bioterrorist attacks, and their impact on African American communities in the southern United States. Using an environmental justice and racial equity framework, the book traces the unequal protection and unequal treatment afforded African Americans over eighty years and looks at the factors that have made them vulnerable, including their socioeconomic status and race. It presents case studies to illustrate how environmental hazards develop into public health threats and how their effects are either mitigated or amplified by design factors. It also examines special challenges and barriers faced by African Americans on a daily basis and how government response to disasters compounds these obstacles. Finally, the book recommends policy strategies for preventing inept government responses to various threats to African Americans.

Keywords:   natural disasters, man-made disasters, environmental justice, racial equity, unequal protection, unequal treatment, African Americans, environmental hazards, public health, government response

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