My Black Friend’s White Friend

31 08 2011

It seems like most black people don’t go camping (six separate links).

I remember hearing a hispanic comic do a stand-up routine about how hispanic people and camping don’t mix, and I sometimes think about the pastiness of the National Parks visitors that I’ve seen. On my recent trip to New York it came up in conversation. On a bus. With a really loud and really friendly 30-something black lady.

So I get on the Bx7 bus toward 231st Street and make my way toward the back of the bus in search of a seat. I squeeze down onto a piece of blue plastic, sandwiching myself between a ill-positioned pole and someone’s huge backpack, and I take out a book on climbing technique. In it is a photo of an improvised harness, and a young black woman sitting in a nearby seat perpendicular to mine asks what the harness would be used for. Cool. Someone’s curious.

I explain to her that it’s a climbing harness and that it is used to secure a person to a rope or to an anchor. We talk for a minute about how much force the harness webbing can withstand, and then she asks where there is any climbing in New York. I tell her that the most popular spot is in the Gunks upstate, and she replies that she used to live around there and that it’s a really pretty area. Then she drops the bomb, which I found hilarious in light of the comedian I had recently heard:

“You know, my white friend likes all that outdoors stuff. She took me camping once and there’s no way I’m going again.”

Love it.

posted by yair

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4 responses

31 08 2011
Tina

After all that explaining only to be told that. Why did she even ask? ha ha ha

Check out this guitar lessons for beginners website!

31 08 2011
frugalveganmom

Hahhaaa.

-From a white girl who hates camping.

31 08 2011
wanderingairstream

love this! it seems to be quite true, throughout our travels at least.. and oprah and gail did a great national parks show on just this very topic!!
p.s. sent you an email, look for it (; tiffany

31 08 2011
boothism

Not all do, but some. Check out my friend’s site: http://www.outdoorafro.com/
This being said, I haven’t been camping in years…

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