Is nature a white thing?

It can certainly seem so. A 2011 National Park Service survey found that just 7 percent of all park system visitors were black. But there is a growing effort to nurture the relationship between African-Americans and the outdoors. Online clubs and social media groups geared at getting African-Americans into the wilderness are having real impact.

Part of that is about spreading awareness of the myriad cultural reasons black people have felt unwelcome in natural spaces throughout history. We explore the roots of this relationship and speak with some of the leaders of the movement to get African-Americans to get out.


  • Rue Mapp Founder and CEO, Outdoor Afro; @RueMapp
  • Carolyn Finney Assistant Professor in Department of Geography, Kentucky University, "Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors"
  • J. Drew Lanham Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology, Clemson University; board chair, Audubon South Carolina; author of "The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature;" @1blackbirder
  • Tyrhee Moore Mountaineer; outdoor education advocate

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