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Seedy Talks with Dr. Jonathan Hall: Hunting While Black

American parks and wilderness that white Americans enjoy for their recreational activities and hunting can be painful spaces for Black people. Statistics of land ownership and access also directly speaks to this pain. In 1920, there were 14 percent land-owning Black farmers across U.S. Today, only 1.4 percent of U.S. farms are controlled by Black farmers. Similarly, only 2 percent of the hunters in the country are Black.

Jonathan Hall in hunter's orange
Photo by Mike Costello

In the sixth installment of Seedy Talks, sponsored by the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences at WVU, Jonathan Hall, assistant professor of geography at WVU, will discuss how institutional and environmental racism and dispossession of Black people’s land affects the hunting landscape in the U.S. Mike Costello and Amy Dawson, co-hosts of Pickle Shelf Radio Hour, will join the discussion to share their thoughts on the fifth episode of the podcast: Bigos, Big Does and Hunting While Black , which featured Hall to explore the relation between race and hunting in the context of West Virginia. Service Assistant Professor Mehmet Öztan will host the event.


Guests are encouraged to read Hall’s articles " Hunting While Black in West Virginia" and " Notes From an Angry Black Hunter: Guns, Genocide, and the Stolen Ground You ‘Own’" prior to the event to be prepared for the subject matter. Students and faculty alike are also encouraged to listen the Pickle Shelf Radio Hour’s fifth episode, "Bigos, Big Does and Hunting While Black," and read Hall’s recent article " Wild Alternatives: Accounting for and Rethinking the Relationship Between Wild Game and Food Security in Appalachian Food Systems" prior to the event.

About the Speakers

Jonathan Hall

Jonathan Hall is a wildlife ecologist by training with a broad interest in wildlife conservation, human/wildlife interaction, environmental justice and species movement ecology. He founded the Wilderness Geography Lab (previously the Conservation Geography Lab) in 2014 in the WVU Department of Geology and Geography. The lab currently conducts research in West Virginia, California, Yellowstone National Park and Rajasthan, India. Hall holds a Doctor of Philosophy in ecology from Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Science in biology from Morehouse College.

Amy Dawson and Mike Costello

Mike Costello received a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism at WVU. Amy Dawson received a Bachelor of Science from the Department of Geology and Geography and JD degree from the College of Law at WVU. Costello and Dawson are storytellers, farmers, seed savers, chefs and co-owners at Lost Creek Farm (Lost Creek, West Virginia), a historic farm and traveling culinary venture that promotes Appalachia’s heritage-based cuisine. They are the co-producers of Pickle Shelf Radio Hour through which they explore West Virginia’s immigrant history, food traditions and environmental and food justice stories in the state.