How to Celebrate National Black Business Month in the Outdoor Industry!
In honor of National Black Business Month this August, we're celebrating by highlighting and supporting black-owned outfitters and guide services throughout the US!
What is National Black Business Month?
National Black Business Month is a time to support black-owned businesses throughout the US. According to a great article from 250 America, The annual celebration was created in 2004 when historian John William Templeton and engineer Fredrick E. Jordan partnered to advance the policies affecting 2.6 million African American businesses and develop greater economic freedom for Black communities. This month we reflect on the history of Black entrepreneurship, their impact on the United States economy, and the resilience of the Black community.
Why is Focusing on Black-Owned Businesses in the Outdoor Industry Important?
Great question! Let's talk about why it is important in this industry to highlight black-owned, and more generally BIPOC ( black, indigenous, people of color), business owners.
Economic Freedom | Focusing on black-owned businesses helps address historical and systemic economic disadvantages faced by BIPOC communities. By supporting these businesses, we can promote economic empowerment and reduce wealth disparities. This leads to the creation of jobs within BIPOC communities, further boosting economic growth. We have seen the benefits of the outdoor industry on rural white communities, and we are beginning to see the same benefits across predominantly black communities!
Outdoor Equity | Supporting black-owned businesses fosters diversity and inclusivity in the outdoor industry, encouraging a more equitable business environment. In turn, we begin to see diverse voices and experiences in legislative and policy discussions surrounding the protection and conservation of our wild spaces.
Social Justice | By recognizing and promoting black-owned businesses, we acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of black entrepreneurs, helping to break down stereotypes and promote positive role models for future generations. Overall, it's a step towards building a more just and equal society.
Black-Owned Business in the Outdoor Industry:
We have to start with Slim Pickins Outfitters, located at 200 W Washington St in Stephenville, Texas. Why? Slim Pickins was the very first black-owned outfitter in the US and is going strong in Texas with the hopes of being a relevant space for our local community and cater to creative outdoor enthusiasts, while diversifying the outdoor industry, as it pertains to ownership and positions of leadership.
We went shopping and found Slim Pickens Provisions with this great logo'd tee! They also have merch for Black Outside, a nonprofit focused on reconnecting Black youth to the outdoors, as well as Camp Founders Girls, America's first historically Black summer camp for girls!
Sweat and Sunshine
Sweat and Sunshine is based in Tempe, Arizona, near the Sonoran Desert, and provides Outdoor Wellness Experiences designed to maximize the benefits of sunshine, movement, and nature. They also provide Health Coaching and my Online Fitness Training solutions virtually!
This black-owned outfitter is a joy-focused outdoor lifestyle shop connecting our customers to the highest quality brands tied to social impact located on 69 Water St in Hingham, MA. They also have an online store and plenty of logo'd gear to choose from as well as brands like Patagonia, Rab, Salewa, Darn Tough and more!
They are an Ultralight backpacking equipment company based in the Bronx. According to their site, allmansright is inspired by the Swedish tradition of allemansrätt, the right of everyone to freely roam and explore the outdoors — wherever nature takes them. Their purpose is to help you do just that!
With the mission to celebrate and inspire Black connections and leadership in nature. Outdoor Afro has a network of 60K BIPOC adventurers across 32 states. They work tirelessly offering guided adventures and other programs to black explorers with the help of the industry's most well known brands like Keen, Cliff Bar, REI, The Northface and more. Their adventures range from fishing, kayaking, backpacking, skiing, boating, gardening, biking, hiking, horseback riding, birding, and swimming. They also have a cool line of merch available through REI.com
This is just our top 5 awesome companies, but as of today there are over 30 black owned outdoor companies to explore! Did we miss someone!? Share their infoatmion and we'll add them below!