3 or 4 years ago this lady with big hair handed me a sticker that said “Outdoor Afro”( now on my sketchbook). I didn’t realize how cool the concept was until I embarked on my first backpacking trip with my wife and our homie Tiffany. I didn’t see any Black folks out there while I hiked or backpacked, but I thought to myself that there must be some Black folks who do it (just not often in my family). But I knew there must also be some historical reasons for why Black folks didn’t or do not feel comfortable going to the “outdoors”. Founder of “Outdoor Afro” Rue Mapp, was frustrated with the lack of visuals/media/ representation showing Black folk out in nature launched an organization. The organization started small in Oakland with a small group of folks, and has since flourished to include thousands of members and a national membership that meets regularly in over 15 states! Sim ply put, they are here to connect Black folks who love nature or are curious. Putting a name to it, and providing a vehicle to mobilize the many folks who’ve never been hiking, rafting, or backpacking and people who’ve been doing it for years it is a truly inspiring organization. Go head Rue!
Sources: Outdoor Afro (Website), Ted Talk (video)