The great outdoors are full of adventure and challenges. While not always synonymous with the Black experience, more and more Black women are setting out to explore the great unknown. These women get their hands dirty, long to feel their muscles burn and push themselves to new limits. From summiting mountains to swimming undersea, Black women are making their presence known in a variety of outdoor spaces.
Black Women Outdoors
Lauren Gay, who calls herself “Outdoorsy Diva” shows Black women can not only travel but embrace nature. Gay curated “Black Women Outdoors,” which is a team of Black women who navigate the world while exploring recreational activities like hiking, skiing, and canoeing. While capturing a breathtaking view in Zimbabwe, Gay wrote a heartfelt post on Instagram about the adversities she faced before creating her company. She says she always praised God despite her family dynamics and self-esteem issues. Gay continues to support Black women while navigating the outdoor space.
Sistahs To The Summit
In October, Erika Liles along with 14 other Black women embarked on a camping trip and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. The massive accomplishment came after Liles’ 50th birthday. The mom of two says she contacted her girlfriends because climbing the mountain was on her bucket list. The voyage took 8 days. Liles and her highly educated group of friends spoke with The Today’s Show about the adventures. They said they motivated each other to complete the massive climb. The women told the show they wanted people to dream and get out of their comfort zone. After challenging themselves, the group danced on social media to Beyonce’s “Cuff It Challenge” which is black Girl magic in the flesh.
Outdoorsy Black Women
Toyin Ajayi wanted a safe space for women of color to enjoy outdoor activities. She founded “Outdoorsy Black Women” in Atlanta. Now the group has expanded to Tucson, Arizona. The organization hosts over 6000 valiant Black women that consists of hikers, hunters, and beekeepers. Ajayi wanted women to have conversations pertaining to dating, relationships, and careers. She continues to change the narrative that Black women can be outside too.