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The Myth About African-Americans and the Outdoors

Pictured: Carolyn Finney.

America and St. Louis are having conversations about race after the tragic incidents in Minneapolis, Louisville and Atlanta. These conversations may seem tangential to environmental concerns, but we at Environmental Echo have decided to dive back into our archives and re-post an interview with Carolyn Finney, Ph.D.

Originally published in February 2016, the podcast interview (below) is an in-depth conversation about African-Americans who connect with nature and the outdoors. There are damaging “myths” and a lack of appreciation for the contributions Black Americans have made in environmental history.

(From the 2016 Environmental Echo post)
Carolyn Finney, Ph.D., is the guest on this edition of “Behind the Editor’s Curtain” with Don Corrigan. Finney is the author of “Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors.”

Speaking about the absence of African-Americans engaging in outdoor activities portrayed in popular culture, such as in movies and magazines, Dr. Finney notes:

“Just because we don’t see any (African-Americans) doesn’t mean there aren’t any. That’s myth number one,” Finney said. “Actually, Black people, like everybody else, have been around doing everything like everybody else since the beginning of the time. You have Black mariners, you have Black hikers, you have Black people camping — I mean, Black people have been doing it, too.”

The topic of discussion is the relationship between the Black community and outdoor spaces and related activities, like national parks, hiking, and mountain climbing.

To find out more about Carolyn Finney, visit her website by CLICKING HERE.

To hear the interview with Carolyn Finney and Don Corrigan click on the audio below.

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