Unhidden

An American Ascent, Black In National Parks Week, Blackwaters, Books, Buffalo Soldiers, Denali, Expedition Denali, Fly Fishing, Madison, National Geographic, National Monuments, National Parks, Outdoors For All, The Adventure Gap, The Joy Trip Reading Project, Unhidden / 22.04.2024

Recently I had the pleasure of welcoming two special guests to Madison, Wisconsin. As we’re entering the last two weeks of instruction in my online course at Western Colorado University, one of my students, Melanie Hardin, reached out to let me know that she would be passing through town. Coincidentally, Brian Shellum, a renowned author of several books on the Buffalo Soldiers, happened to arrive on the same day. On a beautiful spring afternoon, I was excited to meet with them both in person for coffee and lunch...

#BlackLivesMatter, Adventure Activism, Black Lives Matter, Commentary, Diversity, Essays, National Monuments, National Parks, Special Events, Unhidden / 29.02.2024

On February 24, 2024 I was asked to give a speech in commemoration of Black History Month. The Portland, Oregon non-profit organization, Love Is King, invited me to take part in their annual observance of the occasion by joining a community march across the St. Johns Bridge over the Willamette River. The event called Walk the Walk is a reenactment of the historic 5-day protest led my Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from March 21st to March 25th 1965....

#BlackLivesMatter, Black History, Capitol Christmas Tree, National Geographic, National Parks, Public Land, Unhidden / 08.11.2023

On a visit to the New River Gorge National Park, I hiked through the preserved ruins of the community in which historian Carter Godwin Woodson spent his formative years. Known as the “Father of Black History”, he worked as a coal miner in the town of Nuttallburg, West Virginia. Just a few miles from the visitor center, down a very step narrow road, are the remaining structures in which Woodson likely worked as a young man, as well as the schoolhouse where he first taught Black students....

Black Lives Matter, Diversity, Interview, National Monuments, National Parks, The Joy Trip Reading Project, Unhidden / 28.08.2023

A few minutes before our online discussion, National Park Ranger (Retired) Betty Reid Soskin and I spent some time getting reacquainted. She was to be a guest on The Joy Trip Reading Project to talk about her memoir “Sign My Name To Freedom”. After her daughter Di’Ara got her settled in front of her computer, we smoothed out a few minor technical difficulties with our Zoom connection. We then chatted amiably as one by one the attendees populated the waiting room....

#BlackLivesMatter, Black Lives Matter, Destinations, Diversity, Essays, Outdoor Recreation, Private Land, Travel, Unhidden / 31.07.2023

There is such a thing as coincidence. But it is only when overlapping events are put into their proper context that we can draw substantive meaning from otherwise random occurrences that happen simultaneously. I was recently asked to give a lecture on the campus of the Bay View Association in Petoskey, Michigan. Under an endowment established in the memory of Donald B. Loyd, a 4th generation resident of this resort community just south of the Upper Peninsula, I was invited to share my work on making outdoor recreation...

Black History, Commentary, Juneteenth, Outdoors For All, Uncategorized, Unhidden / 19.06.2023

On the new federal holiday of Juneteenth, we celebrate the end of slavery in the United States and the emancipation of every citizen. This marks the third week of my month-long summer course, Outdoors For All at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. We’re half-way through. As I remind my students, this is not a “Black” holiday. Today we acknowledge that everyone has the inalienable rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Taught at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies this class explores the disparities of access to...