"Plenty of folks have asked me why race even matters in the outdoors. And to be honest, I'm not sure it does. I'm not sure my blackness matters to the land I walk on, or the plants and animals that have inhabited the spaces I move through for generations untold.
But the outdoors is political, and belonging is determined by the same forces that permeate our society. Being seen by some as TBI - "tall, black, and intimidating" - affects the ways in which those people react to me, and that doesn't change just because I've donned a backpack and am trying to walk a long way, just like they are. We take our social contexts with us wherever we go, and that means that even among hikers, I am not just my walking and my love of nature. I don't get to - and, ultimately, don't want to - leave my blackness, my femaleness, and everything else that I am behind.
But by taking life at 2.8 miles an hour, adapting to the rhythms of the land, and removing myself from the front lines of context, I've found new ways to explore the beauty of my blackness, my height, my femininity, and what exactly it means to be intimidating in a society that expects people like me to be the opposite.
And after 3500 miles of walking, it's the attempts that have taught me what it is to try, to take up space, to do something because you find it to be worth doing, and, even in failure, to be enough."
campaign was started by @mynameisbam
and features leaders who are changing the dominant narrative of what it means to be outside.
📍 Ancestral lands of the Seminole, Calusa, and Tocobaga .
#expandthenarrative #diversifyoutdoors #melaninbasecamp
#hikeyourownhike #hikingvibes #hikeday #hikerslife #hikingtime #hiking_hobby