Fighting to Breathe

Fighting to Breathe – Reading Questions

Official reading questions for the book Fighting to Breathe by Nicole Fabricant

Why is Baltimore a city of contradictions?


What is environmental justice? And what is environmental toxicity (p.3)


How does Harvey and Right to the City come in to play in this ethnography?


What is the thesis of Fighting to Breathe? And organizational structure?


Why the author’s note? What do you come to find out here?


What is toxicity?

What is the history of toxicity?

What is the history of Fairfield and Wagner’s Point?

What is the history of coal?

What is the story of Black ship-yard workers?

What is wastelanding and why is it important to the story Fabricant is telling?

And how did the Free Your Voice Students respond?

Who has the right to the city here?

How did Free Your Voice students begin to organize?


What was problem-posing education?


How did trauma define their everyday experiences? What was embodied learning?


What was the problem tree? Why was it useful in thinking about systemic or structural/root problems?


How did Free Your Voice get activists to see and understand that race, class, gender, immigration, indigenous land claims etc. all interconnect?


Power cube? What was this?


What are toxic entanglements?


How did students become ethnographers of their own communities?


How was root shock used to politicize students?


What was Terrel’s story? Crystal Green? Jimmy Brown?


How did youth go from being paralyzed and numb to raising critical consciousness?

What was the stop the incinerator campaign? How was it a school for low-income youth of color?


How did the organizing inside Ben Franklin Highschool start?


How was the incinerator given renewable status?


What was Phase I of campaign? Phase II?


What role did art play in the campaign?


What did the rap at the board of education mean? What was the significance of this “occupying” taking back of space?


Why was Phase III so important to the campaign?


What was the plan for the FMC site?

How did Free Your Voice go from stopping one polluting incinerator to thinking about fair development?

What is fair development?

What role did Neighborhood Design play in helping to assist with the land trust?

What is a land trust?

How is housing about commoditizing property? Think about neoliberalism and how it works in terms of housing?

What is the history of failed development?

What was the Port Covington plan?

How much money did Port Covington get from the city of Baltimore?

20/20 campaign? What was it and why was it important?

What was the experiment in building land trusts?

What will the land trust model look like in Curtis Bay?

What were the city-wide practices of dumping?

What is a regenerative and zero waste system?

What did the transformation of under armour city garage into zero waste future look like?

How do protestors escalate against BRESCO?

Where is the SBCLT now?

What role do anchor institutions play in ensuring zero waste campus?

Why does youth organizing matter?

What was Destiny Watford’s confession?

What are the problems with some social justice organizations? How do we address this?

What are some interventions Fabricant proposes at the end of postscript?


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