Barske, Carolyn M., Murphy, Brian. Tennessee River and Northwest Alabama. United States: Arcadia Publishing, 2018.
“This pictorial history illustrates the Tennessee River’s influence on Northwest Alabama and people, places, and events that have shaped the area’s cultural and natural history.”
This secondary source will allow me to examine the history of the Tennessee River and the people in North Alabama who were influenced by it. I will be able to examine historical examples of how disparaged groups (in this case Native Americans) were treated as industry began to develop along the river’s banks. This will set a baseline to examine against any modern disparities that have been created in my time period of the late 20th to early 21st century. I will also be able to understand the origins of the Tennessee Valley Authority, nitrate facilities, dams, and other key infrastructure projects that shaped how the Tennessee River has been used to generate industry, as well as early examples of how toxic waste was handled as it pertains to byproducts of manufacturing efforts on the river.
Spears, Ellen Griffith. Baptized in PCBs: Race, Pollution, and Justice in an All-American Town. United States: UNC Press Books, 2014.
This book recounts the legal battle against Monsanto’s dumping of PCBs into primarily African American and White working-class neighborhoods that occurred in the mid-1990s.
This book by Ellen Spears will allow me to gain valuable insight into an environmental justice situation that occurred less than 10 years prior to my project site’s timeframe in a similar geographical region. Monsanto was dumping PCBs, a chemical in the same class as the PFAs and PFOs that I will examine in my 3M site. I can compare the health risks from PCB groups described in this book to the PFAs at my 3M site, providing me with further sources and examples to continue my investigation. I will be able to examine the external factors that allowed the chemicals to be released into neighborhoods, as well as the internal perspective of the residents who suffered the pollution. I can draw a parallel between the legal battle against Monsanto and the lawsuits that have been brought against 3M and potentially discover a pattern of political and economic practices that allows for the pollution of peoples with diminished political power. Further, I will gain an understanding of any grassroots movements that formed to combat the pollution and seek out groups in North Alabama who have the same mission.