Black Outdoor Creators, Activists, Athletes, and Artists you should follow and support for Black History Month
It’s Black History Month! This month we should all be taking time to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of Black Americans, as well as educate ourselves on the history of Black folks in America. One of the ways to celebrate Black folks this month is to diversify your timeline. (There are many other ways, please do more than just follow Black people for Black History Month).
The outdoor industry is changing, but it is still a slow process. As members of the outdoor industry, it is our responsibility to uplift and support Black artists, creators, activists, and athletes who are doing work in these primarily white spaces. This is a good place to start. Follow these folks, support their work, and celebrate them for Black History Month!
Irietoaurora – Vanlifer
Naomi has been living in and traveling around the country in her van since 2016. She is enthusiastic about the power of sustainable and ethical living and embodies those beliefs in all things she does. She is also the founder of the organization Diversify Vanlife, which is dedicated to creating a safe space and resources for BIPOC and other marginalized nomads. Follow Naomi, her partner Dustin, and their adorable dog Amara in their little yellow van Irie.
Photographer and Storyteller
Wild Gina, the superhero alter ego of Gina Danza, is an outdoors and nature photographer who focuses on the healing aspect of her art in the natural world. Her photography has a hazy dream-like quality to it that brings the audience into the mind of Wild Gina. You can purchase her prints online or follow her online for in-depth philosophical musings and stunning nature photography featuring Black women.
Latasha “Tasha” Dunston is an artist and graphic designer who combines Black joy and nature landscapes into a variety of artistic mediums. She paints everything from stickers for your water bottle to murals on the side of buildings. Her vibrant nature scenes combine the whimsical aspect of the natural world while also highlighting Black experiences and voices. You can support her on Patreon to get exclusive content, commission a piece from her website, or follow along to see more of her stunning work!
Athlete & Artist
Brooklyn “Badgal Brooky” Bell, is a professional mountain biker, skier and artist. Her art focuses on the cultural archetypes of people and landscapes within her sports and they have a warm and fuzzy emotional tone. She grew up in Seattle Washington and fell in love with Mountain Biking and Skiing. You can purchase her prints or request a commission from her online, and you can follow along with her mountain adventures on Instagram!
Photographer & Climber
The first thing you notice about “L” is her unbelievably bright smile. As a photographer, brand strategist, and rock climber, L is making waves in the outdoor industry and she works with major brands like Arc’teryx, The North Face, Patagonia, and National Geographic. On Instagram, her bright, exuberant smile is accompanied by thoughtful insights into her experience as a Black woman in the outdoor industry. She speaks openly to anti-racism work, as well as rock climbing adventures, and joyful peaks into her everyday life.
Professional Rock Climber
Genevieve Walker is a professional rock climber who specializes in hard, overhanging, endurance routes that require creative kneebars. She picked up rock climbing in 2012 and then hit the road to pursue her passion full-time. She is sponsored by Evolv and DMM and can be found most often at the sport crag working on the hardest route there. Follow Genevives adventures and new hard climbs through Instagram!
Who did we miss?
There is a nearly endless list of Black Outdoor Creators, Activists, Athletes, and Artists out there who are changing the industry for the better. For Black History month it is important to highlight these folks and celebrate their accomplishments. Who did we miss? Tag, comment, and let us know who else should be highlighted this month!
About the Gear Tester
Kaya Lindsay is a writer, photographer, and filmmaker with a passion for rock climbing and the outdoors.
In 2016 she converted a Sprinter Van into a tiny home and has been traveling around the US & Canada to pursue her passion for rock climbing. Since hitting the road she has begun a career in filmmaking and is currently working on her One Chick Travels series, highlighting solo female travelers who live and work to pursue an adventurous lifestyle. Her films have been highlighted by major brands such as Backcountry and Outside TV. To fulfill her passion for writing, she chronicles her many adventures in her blog. Professionally, she writes for the adventure sports company Outdoor Prolink and The Climbing Zine. Kaya hopes to spend many more years in her tiny home on wheels, Lyra, and is currently living in Moab Utah.