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[at-l] Minorities on the trail

Bob Dudley wrote:
>Of all these people that I saw there was only one Asian (female).  I
>did not see any other minority group the whole day.  In fact in all of
>my years hiking I have seen less than five Afro-Americans hiking.  I
>think that this is a pretty sad state of affairs.  Rachel Dubois
>(Solophile) even mentioned she did not see any Afro-Americans on the
>trail during her thru hike.

I think maybe I've been misread.  I did in fact see a few
African-Americans on the trail.  Most of the individuals I saw were young
kids hiking with youth groups or camp groups.  At one point, I met an
African-American father and son hiking team and I remember specifically
commenting that this was the first time I had seen any adult
African-American hikers out on their own without a group type setting. 
As I stated before in my journal postings, I was very disappointed with
the lack of cultural diversity in the backpacking community. 

It's easy to say that it's just because these minority groups are not
exposed to the trail, but I don't think that's all there is to it.  I
would assume that youth groups have been taking young minority kids and
teenagers out into the woods for several years now.  Why  don't we see
these individuals returning to the trail as adults?  I've always been
curious about that.  I don't think it's fair or accurate to say that they
can't afford the gear.  Is it that they feel uncomfortable with the rest
of the hiking community?  I'd love to know.

I'm technically considered a minority (Puerto Rican), but I don't think I
look very Puerto Rican.  Thus I don't think that I experienced  the same
scenarios that an African-American might have on the trail.

"Solophile"  GA-->ME  '97
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