Death of a dream in Warren County

[Floyd] McKissick’s team was never able to lure major industry to Soul City, but two industries did end up landing there after McKissick left. One was hazardous waste: Warren County notoriously became the place where North Carolina decided to dump tons of untreated, PCB-tainted soil in a landfill near Soul City. Black residents protested this conversion of their homeland into dumping grounds, many of them lying in front of the trucks delivering the soil. Their resistance marked the birth of the civil-rights-based environmental justice movement, though these groups weren’t able to stop toxic soil waste from infiltrating the earth around Soul City.

“The other industry that ended up there: prison. The ‘Soul Tech I’ business incubator McKissick built was sold off and is now the Warren Correctional Institution, an 809-bed facility housing far more people than McKissick was ever able to recruit to Soul City….”

— From “The Time Republicans Helped Build an All-Black Town Called ‘Soul City'” by Brentin Mock at CityLab (Nov. 6)

h/t Mary Newsom


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