This month, Mappy Hour Denver members and newcomers gathered at Grandma’s House to celebrate Black History Month. Aman Anderson, founder of Beast Fingers Climbing, joined us to discuss his experiences as a black rock-climber and the growing presence of ethnic diversity in the outdoor community.
Before discussion began, we filled out the usual Mappy Hour name tags, explored the various board games throughout Grandma’s House, and got to know the newcomers. Aman began by framing the context of his talk with a video from actor Michael Williams. The video helped kick-start the dialogue about typecasting, identity, and stereotypes.
Aman introduced the history of black mountaineering and climbing with some of the noteworthy mountain expeditions and individuals worldwide.
Aman’s presentation led to a round-table, thought-provoking discussion about barriers for ethnically diverse groups interested in participating in the outdoor community, as well as how we can make climbing more accessible to kids and teens in disparate socioeconomic communities. Three of the groups he shared about were OutDoorAfro, Melanin Basecamp, and BOC Crew (Brothers of Climbing).
After Aman’s talk, we took a look at the adventure board, where members wrote down their upcoming outdoor adventure plans. We took turns telling the group about where we’re headed and why. Some of us are planning international summer trips, some are moving to the mountains, and others just stoked on taking advantage of the continual winter activities that Colorado has to offer.