September 2015 | OUTDOORS
Outdoor Afro is a cutting-edge platform that organizes recreational events here in Oakland and around the country to help people of all interests and fitness levels get re-connected to nature. We share tips, history, and inspiration via our social networks to help positively shift the visual representation of who gets outdoors.
Q: What inspired you to start your business?
My parents had a ranch in Lake County we would visit often while growing up, and that was like my nature laboratory — and I became hooked! But when I started venturing into the woody far reaches of the wilderness as an adult, I noticed too few people who liked like me out there. So I decided to do something about it, and started an online community back in 2009 to combat the false stereotype that black people don’t like the outdoors. We have come a long way from that blog and now we have 30 trained national leaders who help people connect to nature through camping trips, hikes, river rafting, and other activities to reach nearly 10,000 people each year around the country.
Q: Tell us in one sentence why your customers love your business.
Because we re-connect people to nature, and to one another.
Q: What’s the best thing about doing business in Oakland?
I was born and raised here, so it’s about heritage and legacy. I stand on the shoulders of my parents who migrated here from the south in search of better opportunities, and visionary movements like the Black Panthers. I am living the dream my ancestors had for me to live a life of self-determination and agency that brings such a deep sense of satisfaction in my work here. It is an honor to contain my work, play, and engagement in such a magnetic place that truly has everything you could ever want in a city.
Q: What are some of your favorite local businesses in Oakland?
It’s Your Move Games and Hobbies, Lois the Pie Queen, Mi Pueblo on High Street
Q: What’s the one thing Oakland offers that you couldn’t live without?