For Women’s History Month 2023, Outdoor Afro wanted to acknowledge a few female inspirations and contributors to their new book “Nature Swagger: Stories and Visions of Black Joy in the Outdoors”, Rue Mapp, in collaboration with American publisher Chronicle Books. As founder and CEO of Outdoor Afro, Mapp has transformed her kitchen table blog into a now national not-for-profit organization that celebrates and inspires Black connections and leadership in nature. Since this year’s month long theme is “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories,” Mapp’s newest coffee table read sets a natural scene to appreciate those wilderness women who have – and still are – strengthening relationships to land, wildlife, and waterways.
What an honor, privilege, and delight that the crew at Outdoor Afro commissioned a portrait of me in honor of my contribution to the new book, Nature Swagger. The story that I contributed to the book is about my remarkable experience of swimming with wild dolphins on the Big Island of Hawaii. The portraits were painted by Dajah Callen and is featured in an article written by DeAnna Taylor. I offer a deep bow of gratitude. That’s me second from the right, bottom row.
I hadn’t had a portrait painted of me since I was five years old. (see below)