Environmental Echo Editor Don Corrigan presented his paper, “Black Faces, Natural Spaces,” last week at the 2016 American Cultural Association / Popular Culture Association (ACA/PCA) in Seattle, Washington.
See below to view Don’s presentation and more.
Don’s paper noted that when Reese Witherspoon braved the outdoors on her 1,100-mile trek on the California Crest Trail in the 2014 movie, “Wild,” who did she run into? Mostly white guys. When Robert Redford and Nick Nolte braved the outdoors on their attempt to conquer the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail in the 2015 movie, “A Walk In The Woods,” who did they run into? Mostly white guys.
The lack of any black faces in these natural spaces is no big surprise. It’s what we expect in our cinema, our magazines and our popular culture. What may actually surprise us is that more and more people are starting to question this picture. Why are African Americans so underrepresented when it comes to involvement with nature, environmental issues and outdoor recreation?
Don’s presentation examines the work of black authors Carolyn Finney, James Edward Mills, Evelyn White and Eddy Harris to try to get at an answer to that question. Take a look at the PowerPoint that Don presented at the Seattle Conference, it’s posted right here.
View Don’s presentation PDF here: Don Corrigan Presentation
The audio embedded in the Powerpoint is not working- if you wish to hear the interview with Carolyn Finney see below.
The ACA / PCA Conference in Seattle was great and I love this city. I took the ferry to Bainbridge Island on Saturday and what a delightful time — and only $8 for a roundtrip. Some people were getting freaked out by our Coast Guard escort that involved boats with machine gunners up front. But what a view of the Seattle skyline and Mount Rainier as you get closer to Bainbridge. The city skyline starts to be overwhelmed by the snow-covered mountains of the Cascades. There were sail boat lessons going on in the Bainbridge Harbor. Made me long for sailing season to begin at Carlyle Lake, although the scenery on the Illinois plains does not quite match up to what is between the Cascades and the Pacific.