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Narratives Worth Exploring

Diversity, Environmental Journalism, National Geographic, National Parks, Outdoor Recreation, ReThinkOutside / 19.08.2020

WHEN I BEGAN exploring the outdoors, I had no idea that Black people had played a vital role in the creation of Yosemite, one of my favorite national parks. I had never heard the story of the park’s connection with Charles Young and the Buffalo Soldiers, and when I finally did, at age 42, it came to me as a complete surprise. In the 10 years since, I’ve learned the stories of Stephen Bishop and Mammoth Caves, Lancelot Jones and Biscayne Bay, and many other people of color who have influenced national...

Diversity, National Parks, ReThinkOutside / 17.08.2020

Since the earliest days of our national parks Black Americans have played an active part in the preservation of our public land. From Stephen Bishop, a guide at Mammoth Caves before the Civil War, to the Buffalo Soldiers who patrolled Yosemite at the turn of the last century, to Lancelot Jones who advocated for the creation of Biscayne National Park in Florida, people of African descent were part of the notion that set aside special places for the enjoyment of all people. As the naturalist Wallace Stegner once...

#BlackLivesMatter, Adventure Activism, Diversity, National Parks, Outdoor Recreation, Outdoors For All, Photography, Public Land, ReThinkOutside, Social Media / 10.08.2020

On August 25, 2020 the National Park Service will celebrate its 104th anniversary. To mark the occasion Nicole Jackson, co-organizer of #BlackBirdersWeek and Next Generation Advisory Council member of the National Parks Conservation Association, has inspired a commemoration to acknowledge the often-overlooked narratives of those who have contributed to more than a century of conscientious public land management. The Joy Trip Project is pleased to announce Black In National Parks Week! [caption id="attachment_2067219" align="alignright" width="250"] Nicole Jackson[/caption] Starting on August 24th post images to social media with #BlackInNationalParks or #BlackInNationalParksWeek...

An American Ascent, Commentary, Diversity, Essays, Grand Canyon, Magazines, National Geographic, National Parks, Public Land, The Adventure Gap, Yosemite / 14.07.2020

  HALFWAY INTO OUR two-week paddling trip through the Grand Canyon, my longtime friend Jim Moss had a sudden realization. After a thrilling day exploring limpid blue pools and towering waterfalls beneath the desert rim, we sat in beach chairs drinking ice-cold beer along the banks of the Colorado River.“You know? I’ve made more than 40 commercial guiding trips through this place,” he said. “In 25 years, I think you’re the first African American I’ve ever seen down here.”There’s a statistical reason for this: Although Black Americans represent 13.4...

#BlackLivesMatter, Adventure Film, Alaska, An American Ascent, Breaking News, Diversity, Film preview, Outdoors For All, The Adventure Gap / 02.07.2020

Thursday, July 9, 2020 will be the 56th Anniversary of Charles Madison Crenchaw’s historic summit of Denali. As the first Black person to reach the highest peak in North America this remarkable event is particularly significant because it occurred just seven days after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law. Crenchaw’s climb of Denali personified the dream described a year earlier by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the March on Washington. Through his skills as an alpinist and his strength of will, Crenchaw ascended...

Commentary, Essays, In Memoria, Outdoors For All / 25.05.2020

In late afternoon on July 18, 1863, Sergeant Major William Harvey Carney stood on a beach in South Carolina. Shoulder to shoulder with more than 600 men of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment, this formation of troops on Morris Island near the port city of Charleston, would later be described as “like giant statues of marble”. With sand sifting through their feet Carney and his men marched forward at the command of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. Under a barrage of heavy rifle and cannon fire they quickened their...