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									Discussion Questions
Glave and Stoll
Chapter 8

   1. This chapter essentially tells a story. Who is the story about?
   2. Even though Eugene Burnett says environmentalism is a white issue, what does
       the author say?
   3. Clearly this chapter brings up ideas other than environmentalism, what are some
       of those issues?
   4. Why does the author argue it’s important to highlight these issues as well?
   5. What do biologists say about the genetic importance of skin color?
   6. What was the “Great Migration?”
   7. Where did Eugene and Bernice’s ancestors come from?
   8. What were living conditions like for Eugene’s grandfather? Where did he live?
   9. Could African Americans live anywhere they wanted to in New York in the early
       20’s? Where did Eugene and Bernice’s parents live?
   10. What kind of education did Eugene have? And Bernice?
   11. When the married in 1949, they were looking to settle down. It was after the war
       and they wanted to own a home. What kind of home did they want and why?
   12. What were their options?
   13. What were the migratory patterns of this time of African Americans and Whites?
   14. How did the suburbs marketed to African Americans differ from those marketed
       to whites? Why the difference?
   15. In 1948, the Supreme Court banned explicitly racial restrictive covenants. Did
       this help Eugene and Bernice?
   16. Why did they still want a house in the suburbs after being denied the right to buy
       in Levittown?
   17. Page 106, second paragraph, “Property ownership has been much maligned in
       environmental history scholarship as an alienating commodification of land.” Do
       you agree or not? (Tragedy of the commons?)
   18. Finally the settled in Ronek Park. How was it different from Levittown?
   19. How was Ronek Park viewed by other whites in the area? What were some of the
       problems with homes in the Ronek Park neighborhood?
   20. What sorts of vacations did the Burnett’s take and why is it important to note this?
   21. What sorts of vacations do we take?
   22. What sorts of encounters did the Burnett’s have on their vacations?
   23. How were the residents of Ronek Park politically connected?
   24. In 1960, the Burnetts moved further into the suburbs, why?
   25. Were these environmental amenities enjoyed in a public or private way?
   26. Bottom page 118, after Eugene Burnett commented that environmentalism was a
       “white issue” he goes on to say, “but it is a common issue … particularly for
       us…. We are ones that are inundated in our communities with all these negative
       things… the landfill, the high voltage system, right here.”


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