The author interweaves personal experiences as an architect/planner, environmentalist, and black American with urban history, racial justice, cosmology, and the challenge of healing the environmental and social damage that threatens our collective future. Thoughtful writing about race, urban planning, and environmental and social equity is sparked by stories of life as an African American child in post–World War II Philadelphia, a student and civil rights activist in 1960s Harlem, a traveling student of West African architecture and culture, and a pioneering environmental justice advocate in Berkeley and New York.
The book will appeal to people troubled by racism and searching for solutions, including individuals exploring their identity and activists eager to democratize power and advance equitable policies in historically marginalized communities. This is a rich, insightful encounter with an American urbanist with a uniquely expansive perspective on human origins, who sets forth what he calls an “inclusive vision for a shared planetary future.”
The proposed subtitle of the book – too long to fit on the cover – is Discovering New Foundations for the Great Work of Our Time. The cover image, Bottoms Up, is a photomontage by popular artist, community activist, and entrepreneur Keba Armond Konte. The photo was taken at a community celebration during the painting of a mural in the Bottoms neighborhood of West Oakland. The book and an accompanying Learning Action Guide are intended to inspire and empower grassroots community groups to organize and act to dismantle racism and protect and restore a healthy environment for all.
Link to New Village Press for more info and to buy the book. An E-book version in EPUB format is available for 19.99. You can request a MOBI format for viewing on Kindle instead.
There are several ways to preview the book. In addition to the the table of contents, excerpt, and chapter-by-chapter summaries, along with the endorsements on the Praises page, you can view substantial portions of the book in GooglePreview. The link appears under the book cover image on the New Village Press webpage about the book. There is also a very descriptive review of the book by Martin Nicolaus, which appears on the Amazon book page, on the reviewer’s web site, and on Berkeleyside.com.