Honoring Black History Month: Anti-Racism in the Outdoors
~ Anti-Racist Resources for Black History Month and Beyond: a 3-part Kit by SheFly Apparel® ~
Hey friends! February is Black History month and here at SheFly®, we are committed to anti-racism in our own lives, in feminism, and in the outdoors. The negative, lasting impact of whitewashing plays out in a variety of laws, discourses, and situations today, especially in the outdoors, where BIPOC are continually asked why they are in a certain place exploring, if the equipment is theirs or stolen, or worse (the incident harming birdwatcher Christian Cooper was just one example out of so many more that did [or didn’t] make headlines in 2020).
Legends like Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Angela Davis, Marsha P. Johnson, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. have been at the forefront of civil rights movements throughout history, and the best way white folks can honor their progress is to continue it. And the first step to continuing and celebrating Black progress is by educating ourselves. White folks have to realize white supremacy is our issue and ours to solve. We hope this list of important sources detailing the intersection of race and the outdoors we’ve compiled adds to a diverse set of resources you’ve collected on your personal anti-racism journey:
Part 1: EDUCATE
Week 1 - Diving in to diversity [and the lack thereof] in the outdoors
Week 2 - Heading out to hike: how racism plays out in outdoor recreational activities
Unlikely Hikers Podcast- Chelsea Murphy Colors Nature- Podcast (Badass SheFly Ambassador Alert!!)
Week 3 - Putting it into perspective: how racism in environmentalism and shared public outdoor spaces throughout history plays out today
Week 4 - Hammering it home: racism in the outdoors (and what we can all do about it!)
When you’ve gotten through the above history, remember that there’s a lot of black history being made right now, too. Voting rights activist Stacey Abrams led the fight to win Georgia in the 2020 presidential election, turning Georgia blue for the first time since 1992. The new presidency started off with a bang with Kamala Harris as the first black (AND female AND Asian-American) vice president and first woman vice president in America’s history. 34-year-old Dr. Kizmekia Corbett lead the development of the COVID-19 vaccine. And the list goes on. What information can we share and amplify in our own communities?
Because many of us use social media as a learning and activism tool, let’s continue to choose wisely with the information that we take in for Black History Month. Be extra mindful that social media activism can quickly slip into performatism if not paired with true internal and external work, processing, and action. Here is a helpful diagram that details this process and how we can counteract it:
Part 2: SHARE
When using social media’s activism elements, be sure to decolonize and diversify your feed, center the voices of black activists, and pay black educators and creators for their anti-racist resources. Here are a few social media specific finds for this month (but again, 28 days is not the end of it, allyship is a lifelong process.):
SheFly Ambassador Chelsea Murphy’s She Colors History Self Education Station Instagram Series at @she_colorsnature
Anti-racism Daily’s 28 days of Black History at @antiracismdaily
Rachel Cargle’s #DiscoverOurGlory Black History Learning Series found at @rachel.cargle
Part 3: ACT
A special note to our Black Community members**:
As a company whose mission is rooted in increasing accessibility to the outdoors, we recognize the vitality of connecting dots across communities experiencing marginalization. SheFly® can’t just change the narrative from the man’s outdoor world — let’s be real. What we’re revolutionizing is the white, cis, able-bodied, man’s outdoor world. We won’t lie to you. As humans, we’ve made plenty of mistakes and we’ll undoubtedly oversee some things in the future, but one thing is for sure. Intersectional feminism is the way, and we’ll always continue to delve into anti-racism work as a company and as individuals. We’ll continue to highlight and prioritize diversity, equity, and representation in our brand and in the outdoor space. And we’re always open to exploring ways we can do better as a company, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. While we don’t have much to lend as a small business that’s been slammed by COVID-19, we would like to offer you a small, SheFly® gift — please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Black History Month” to claim. Keep taking up space, your presence in the outdoors is radiant, powerful, and necessary. Here’s a little surge of black outdoor joy for your feed! (Special thanks to Gina Danza, @wildginaa on Instagram for creating this hashtag.)
**Non-black-identifying folx: follow this hashtag and support black outdoor creators on Instagram! Be there for moments of injustice as well as joyful moments like these! Show us your allyship! Send us a screenshot of your donation to a black outdoor organization and we’ll send you a free SheFly® gift as well!** Here are some suggestions of places to donate:
Support the first black owned outdoor gear shop in the nation, Slim Pickins.
Support a new Black outdoor retreat, Darken the Mountains! https://email@example.com&item_name=Darken%20the%20Mountains¤cy_code=CAD
Have suggestions of other Black creators, activists, or campaigns to follow? Let us know! firstname.lastname@example.org