National Parks, Kameron Stanton, Chevon Linear, Chicago, online, platform

This Online Platform Inspires Black People To Become One With Nature

Kameron Stanton and Chevon Linear are encouraging Black people to enjoy the great outdoors with their online platform.

Kameron Stanton and Chevon Linear are the creators of Black People Outside, a digital space that showcases the Chicago-based couple’s outdoor adventures.

Stanton and Linear began visiting Thatcher Woods, a nature preserve just outside of Chicago. With its picturesque views and beginner-friendly hiking trails, Thatcher Woods is home to the Trailside Museum of National History. The pair’s popular online platform results from a life-changing trip to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks

“Kam actually is the culprit, because he planned the trip. That is why Black People Outside was able to exist,” Linear told CBS News. 

They admit to being nervous about venturing into unknown territory. 

“Honestly, we were really scared when we first started. I think there was this little bit of fear that was in both of us because we had never done anything like that before,” Linear said. 

Stanton said they experienced “joy” while on the trip that they wanted to share with others. But it was impossible for him to ignore the elephant in the room. 

“We also noticed, like, there wasn’t too many folks like us,” he said.

According to a report released by Black In The Park, only about 6% of Black people visit national parks each year. Some of the reasons cited included safety concerns, lack of representation (not seeing staff and other Black visitors), Black history being excluded, and not feeling welcome. Linear said that she hopes to change this by introducing Black people to outdoor activities.

Black People Outside hosts monthly hikes where they invite fellow Black Chicagoans to join them on some of the Midwest’s scenic trails. Their Instagram page has amassed more than 45K followers on Instagram and highlights several camping sights and outdoor trails located within hours of the city. 

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The newly engaged couple recently created a 501c3 nonprofit agency where they aim to provide free outdoor gear to people in their community.