The Black Experience Outdoors

With Covid-19, I think people have had to slow down in society. People being in lockdown have begun to appreciate what’s on their doorsteps. They have become more observant outside and inside, and sometimes what comes with ignorance as the limitations of experiences are exposed.

When you are a Black woman in a rural setting racist micro aggressions are the norm even if the white villagers who instigate them are trying to be welcoming or nice or curious.

Reading an article by VV Brown in The Guardian recently, brought it all back home regarding how it’s still the case for Black people in the countryside rendered outsider status. But it doesn’t surprise me, as I experience the hostile stares, the questions, ‘Are you lost?’ or ‘Are you on holiday?’, on a regular basis even though I’m entering my 11th year of living on the North-East coast.

Being seen as an outsider in your own homeland, within nature, is infuriating and tiring. Slowly things are changing, and old insular attitudes are crumbling but slowly. The projects we implement here with Earth Sea Love are all aimed at dismantling these attitudes and behaviours making the British countryside safe and welcoming for all.