Yosemite African American History Month 2017

February is African American History Month. A great way to celebrate is by honoring many prominent African Americans in United States history. I’d like to kick off Yosemite African American History Month 2017 with a tribute to several African American explorers who visited Yosemite in 2016. Additionally, it was my true honor to share these adventures with brave and energetic pathfinders. I was able to take many exhilarating images in their presence as they met every obstacle Yosemite threw at them.

Yosemite African American History Month 2017

Yosemite African American History Month 2017

President Barack Obama gracefully overcame so many challenges over the past eight years. He has cemented his legacy as the United States President who has designated the most wild land for protection. By designating Bears Ears and Gold Butte National Monuments in December, he has protected over 553 million acres of wild land.

Yosemite African American History Month 2017

During all that work for conservation, President Obama still had enough time to come to Yosemite in 2016 on Father’s Day weekend. I was honored to be able to take a few photos of this wilderness champion during this historic event.

Yosemite African American History Month 2017

Many African Americans visit Yosemite each year. However, there are several community leaders who wish to see better representation of African Americans in our national parks. I met Rue Mapp, the founder of Outdoor Afro, in Yosemite on the day of the president’s visit. Ms. Mapp shared the mission of her organization which is an effort to get more African Americans outdoors. This is directly from their About Us page on the Outdoor Afro website:

Outdoor Afro has become the nation’s leading, cutting edge network that celebrates and inspires African American connections and leadership in nature. We help people take better care of themselves, our communities, and our planet!”

Yosemite African American History Month 2017

I was able to spend a lot of quality time on the trails in 2016 with African American expeditionists and their families. They all were brave enough to accomplish some outstanding achievements. Most noteworthy were Yosemite Falls and the summit of Half Dome. I have selected some of my favorite photos to share in celebration of these wonderful achievements.

Yosemite African American History Month 2017

Yosemite African American History Month 2017

As we celebrate African American History Month, it is important to also recognize those who make their own history every day.

Yosemite African American History Month 2017

In conclusion, look forward to sharing so many more Yosemite guided hiking experiences with African American hikers in 2017. And if you’re listening, President Obama, it would be a great honor to lead you and your family to the summit of Half Dome now that you are a private citizen.

Yosemite African American History Month 2017

Finally, this could be you on the Half Dome Visor in 2017!

 

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