• SHARE

The rich topsoil of Lowndes County, Alabama, was an asset in the country’s earliest decades, particularly to White landowners. Slave labor cultivated cash crops and built fortunes. An entire swath of the Southeast became known as the Black Belt for the land’s fertile hue.

Today that soil is an environmental liability, and one borne by the area’s disproportionately poor and mostly Black residents. The earth is too dense and moist for conventional septic tanks. Specialized treatment systems necessary for proper sanitation are expensive. Raw sewage pools in people’s yards and seeps into gardens.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)