The Power of One: An African American National Parks Event

Written By OutdoorAfro

Published on Jun 20, 2013

Join the fun Saturday, June 22 at a National Park near you!

Outdoor Afros around the country are thrilled to take part in the African American National Parks Event this Saturday. The idea is the brainchild of Richmond, CA based Teresa Baker, who has been an active leader in the Outdoor Afro community, and a part of the next generation of National Park grassroots engagement advocacy.


Teresa Baker at Muir Woods, CA

According to Teresa, “I just wanted to do something for us, and show we do care about the heritage preserved in the parks”. She is asking participants to choose a National Park near where they live, photograph themselves in the park, then send photos to her that will be used to create a collage to commemorate a positive representation of black people in parks. She hopes the event can take place annually.
What is especially energizing for us is how Teresa exemplifies how the power of one person can make a tremendous difference. In the few months since she launched the event on Facebook, she has received numerous inquiries from people and organizations from all over the country who are excited to take part in the event, including many encouraging calls and notes from both representatives of the National Park Service and Department of Interior.
This event represents an easy way for more black and brown people to enjoy and explore our National Parks. It not only benefits the park system in terms of helping to create increased, positive visibility of these public assets, but also supports the economies surrounding each park that provide jobs for many.
Click to see the socioeconomic impact of the parks on local economies

A lesser known added bonus, is the tremendous amount of preserved historical narrative of the African American experience at many of the park units.
Check out this site that maps out parks of African American historical interest
But many Outdoor Afros simply enjoy the parks and their stunning beauty as a place to find respite, physical exercise, and peace. Audrey Peterman, one of the most passionate park advocates of our time, writes in her book Our True Nature, “I find the life-affirming natural treasures an unending source of inspiration, literally in our backyard.” These reasons are why our own Outdoor Afro Leadership Team  prioritize the parks as a destination for local trips, such as this one at Mt. Wanda, near Port Chicago last Fall in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Outdoor Afro is proud to support Teresa Baker’s efforts, and to commemorate the event near our headquarters, Outdoor Afro is co-hosting a Buffalo Soldier education and hike gathering at the Presidio, which is a part of the Golden Gate National Park Recreation Area. We have over 100 people signed up, and can’t wait!

Which park will you be spotted in? Let us know, and tag yourself on Facebook and Instagram using hashtag #AANPD
Visit, and ‘Like’ the event’s Facebook Page for more details and images!