Black History Month for Outdoorists

We often hear “the outdoors are for all” – but did you know the National Park Service was segregated until 1945? Our community has been learning and unlearning so much about what we were taught (or weren’t at all), and Black History Month provides an opportunity to deepen our historical understandings, reshape narratives, and move forward towards more equitable futures. 

This February, we’re celebrating Black History Month by learning about Black outdoor historical figures and today’s generation of Black outdoorists bringing revolution, advocacy, art and joy into nature. 

Dive in below to get started with articles, films, books, podcasts, social media and more: 

Folks to stay tuned to all month:

  • Laura Edmonson’s Instagram story highlights are always a gift to learn from, and her Black History Month lessons are no exception. Start with this post, then buckle up and dive into her resources on history, the nuance of language, AAVE and more.
  • Outdoor Afro is highlighting Black historical figures in the outdoors, historic places for recreation, and recent achievements by Black individuals related to the outdoors. Here’s the first post in their series to get you started––and be sure to check out their new Empower by Nature collection with Parks Project.
  • James Edward Mills, aka Joy Trip Project, is doing a month-long project he’s calling the #JoyTripBlackHistoryProject2021. From names you might recognize like Dred Scott to Black historical figures you may not know (yet) like poet Phillis Wheatley Peters.
  • Chelsea Murphy aka She Colors Nature is hosting a research and journaling prompt series celebrating Black women where she invites participants to take a prompt, do their own Googling, then spend time privately reflecting. Get started with Day One here.
  • Noami Grevemberg has an ongoing BHM highlight sharing her experiences as a Black immigrant, historical lessons, spotlights on Black futures and more. 
  • Follow the #BlackOutdoorJoy hashtag on Instagram, created by nature photographer Gina Danza.

BLACK HISTORY AND FUTURES IN THE OUTDOOR COMMUNITY ARTICLES:

BOOKS + STUDIES TO READ:

EDUCATION EVENTS:

  • “Join us for an uncomfortable conversation about the N word” is a virtual event hosted by Pocket Media, Outdoor Industry Association and Outdoor Media for Inclusion on February 16th. The panel includes Teresa Baker, Alison Mariella Désir, Carolyn Finney, Ph.D., Devin Dabney and Dhani Jones. Get registered here.
  • Slim Pickins Outfitters is hosting a virtual panel discussion on February 17th, in collaboration with the Outbound Collective, Wondercamp and HOKA ONE ONE. This event will be moderated by Latria Graham and include ASL interpretation. 
 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by SlimPickins Outfitters (@spoutfitter)

  • The California Recreate Responsibly Coalition Chapter has produced a timely webinar series for February: “Building an Inclusive Outdoors: Honoring Black History Month.” The series features two separate webinars:  
    – Tuesday, February 9: The More you Snow: Stories of American History in Snow Sports
    – Tuesday, February 23: From Untold to Bold: Highlighting Black Stories in the Outdoors
    Register here for these two events!
  • If you happen to live in PA, check out these Black History Month bike, jog, garden and Zumba events (both in-person and virtual) hosted by Venture Outdoors in collaboration with Black-led organizations in historically significant Black spaces.

WATCH + LISTEN: 

ORGS TO KNOW:

ADDITIONAL ANTI-RACISM RESOURCES:

These resources from around our community are a mere starting point for learning about the past, present and future of the Black community in the outdoors. If you’ve got a Black History Month resource we’re missing, send it to us and we’ll add it to the growing list!

As we celebrate, learn and unlearn this month, let’s remember that Black history and futures aren’t just a moment in time on our calendars––justice and anti-racism are a lens through which we should constantly be viewing and shaping our advocacy work and lives. Onward, together.

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