Black History Month: Sharing Personal Experiences in the Outdoors

Published 2/22/2022  |  Appalachian Mountain Club

racism on katahdin

Photo courtesy of Juan Michael Porter IIJuan Michael Porter II on one of his many fast hikes to the summit of Katahdin.


As we share stories this Black History Month on the accomplishments and progress of the Black community, we also realize that there’s still much more work to be done. While we strive to share our love and excitement for the outdoors, it’s important to understand that the experiences of others aren’t always positive and acknowledge that racism and profiling are still prevalent in our communities.

Experiences like Juan Michael Porter II, who faced uncomfortable confrontations from fellow hikers because of his race, or Judi Desire, who felt exotified because of her Blackness while bike touring around the world, bring to light the biases we carry while in the outdoors. And on the Unlikely Stories Podcast, Earl B. Hunter Jr., founder and CEO of Black Folks Camp Too, explains how his experience of seeing so few Black people camping led him to turn his business into one that promotes inclusivity in the outdoors.

Through these stories, we can learn to be conscientious and more inviting as we share these outdoors spaces with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, and think twice before letting our biases speak for us.

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