The Anthropocene Blues: Notes from Mississippi

Ludwig, Jason
The Anthropocene Review

This article argues for the importance of integrating histories of enslaved Africans and their descendants—including histories of resistance to racialized power structures—within narratives about the Anthropocene. It suggests that the Black Studies Scholar Clyde Wood’s concept of the “blues epistemology” offers conceptual tools for considering how Black political and intellectual traditions have strived to imagine and create a more livable world amid the entangled crises of racial injustice and ecological degradation. I argue that locating Black political thought within broader narratives of environmental change and economic development illuminates the racial dimensions of current global ecological crises and orients scholarship and political practice toward the spaces in which such thought is being animated today in response to the challenges of the Anthropocene.