Photo by Megan O’Connell.
We know we sound like a broken record, but we have THE COOLEST members! Check out Sacramento Pipeworks member Gabriel Patterson’s feature “Growing Up Black and Outdoorsy” on Melanin Base Camp, a social media collective working to increase the visibility of adventurers of color. Interviewer Danielle Williams writes,
[Gabe] knew from a young age that his interests were perceived by others to be, at worst, not Black enough and, at best, simply going against the grain. At the same time he felt the internal pressure to demonstrate that Black men aren’t defined by the one dimensional, negative portrayals seen in the media. As he grew older and more aware of “being the only one” there was the added pressure of having to “prove himself” each time he entered a predominantly White space to include “higher education, STEM and in outdoor activities.” The worst part was dealing with his own internalized prejudice and self doubt—or what he calls “growing accustomed to seeing myself through other people’s eyes.” Still, his natural instinct is to shrug off negative experiences and redirect his energy towards his passion for the Outdoors.
Can you relate? Are you inspired? Gabe runs Soul Ascension Crew, a POC climbing meet up, at Pipeworks every month. Follow them on social media and never miss a chance to find your fam and meet the man himself.