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maldaly


Feb 23, 2012, 4:12 PM
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First African American to climb Denali?
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Hey climbing peeps, I'm trying to help out a friend with a project. Does anyone out there know who the first African American to climb Denali (Mt. McKinley) was? Thanks in advance.


donwanadi


Feb 23, 2012, 5:09 PM
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Re: [maldaly] First African American to climb Denali? [In reply to]
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I doubt they'd advertise it. Pretty lame to claim First Afro-American Ascent. IMO you're either first or you're not.


Traches


Feb 23, 2012, 5:52 PM
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Re: [maldaly] First African American to climb Denali? [In reply to]
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Why does it matter? Is it harder for a black guy to climb a mountain than a white guy?


jbro_135


Feb 23, 2012, 6:48 PM
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Re: [Traches] First African American to climb Denali? [In reply to]
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Traches wrote:
Why does it matter? Is it harder for a black guy to climb a mountain than a white guy?



apparently, or more black people would have done it by now?

Traches: "first black president, nbd..."


marc801


Feb 23, 2012, 6:50 PM
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Re: [Traches] First African American to climb Denali? [In reply to]
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Traches wrote:
Why does it matter? Is it harder for a black guy to climb a mountain than a white guy?
Obviously no, and in a perfect world it doesn't matter. But without being presumptuous enough to even guess at Malcolm's friend's motivation for the question, we are involved in a sport/endeavor that has a severe lack of Afro-ethnicity participants. Look at all those triumphant summit photos over the years of the big peaks with the proud ascentionists and I fear you'll probably have enough fingers to count the number of Afro-origin climbers in those photos.


Partner happiegrrrl


Feb 23, 2012, 6:52 PM
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Re: [Traches] First African American to climb Denali? [In reply to]
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Traches wrote:
Why does it matter? Is it harder for a black guy to climb a mountain than a white guy?

Denali saw her first human in her summit in 1913. Considering the level of prejudice and discrimination this land has had, I would say that if an african american has been to her top before say, about the last 10 years, then yes - it was probably harder for that person to achieve the goal than a white person. Perhaps not physically, but there's more that goes into an expedition than the physical climbing.

Considering the fact that, until very recently, in some areas of this country a black man had to be worried about being beaten to death and hung from a tree for daring to or inadvertantly offending some white person, I think that african-american "firsts" of ANY kind are laudible.


jbro_135


Feb 23, 2012, 6:55 PM
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Re: [happiegrrrl] First African American to climb Denali? [In reply to]
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happiegrrrl wrote:
Traches wrote:
Why does it matter? Is it harder for a black guy to climb a mountain than a white guy?

Denali saw her first human in her summit in 1913. Considering the level of prejudice and discrimination this land has had, I would say that if an african american has been to her top before say, about the last 10 years, then yes - it was probably harder for that person to achieve the goal than a white person. Perhaps not physically, but there's more that goes into an expedition than the physical climbing.

Considering the fact that, until very recently, in some areas of this country a black man had to be worried about being beaten to death and hung from a tree for daring to or inadvertantly offending some white person, I think that african-american "firsts" of ANY kind are laudible.


I think an ascent would still be a big deal, never mind up to ten years ago. Proportionally there are still very few black climbers.


Partner happiegrrrl


Feb 23, 2012, 7:05 PM
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Re: [jbro_135] First African American to climb Denali? [In reply to]
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I do agree with that. Maybe I was not clear enough on my thought train, which was that I felt it was probably only with the last 10 years that a black person had an equal chance, logistically speaking, as a white one, on Denali. At mountaineering in general, being such a (white)boys club as it were.

Therefore, it would only have been in this last decade or so that african american people have really even begun entering into climbing/mountaineering. Even now, the majority of climbers are caucasion and asian. And so - yes, a first even today would be of historical merit.


Traches


Feb 23, 2012, 7:12 PM
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The same goes for a million other sports, and there are sports with a disproportionately high number of african americans as well. I don't think that climbers are racist, chasing people away because of their skin color, I think there are cultural differences that cause people of different backgrounds to gravitate toward different sports. I fail to see this as a problem; people should do what they want and everyone else should shut up about it.

Justice Roberts said it well - “The way to stop discriminating on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”

Edit-- That's just my $.02, I'd rather not get into a race debate on the internet. I'm not racist, the few people I've met who are racist are almost universally disliked (and hold job titles like "dishwasher"), and I just have a hard time believing that racism is a rampant problem in the US today. In my view, pointing out racial differences (which is not the same thing as pointing out cultural differences!!) even with good intent does more harm than good.


(This post was edited by Traches on Feb 23, 2012, 7:21 PM)


jbro_135


Feb 23, 2012, 7:17 PM
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Re: [Traches] First African American to climb Denali? [In reply to]
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Traches wrote:
The same goes for a million other sports, and there are sports with a disproportionately high number of african americans as well. I don't think that climbers are racist, chasing people away because of their skin color, I think there are cultural differences that cause people of different backgrounds to gravitate toward different sports. I fail to see this as a problem; people should do what they want and everyone else should shut up about it.

Justice Roberts said it well - “The way to stop discriminating on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”


Maybe they're not now (with some notable exceptions in this thread) but they certainly used to be. Unless you were a very rich white man, historically you had very little chance of climbing a peak.


maldaly


Feb 23, 2012, 8:49 PM
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Re: [maldaly] First African American to climb Denali? [In reply to]
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Found it. Or at least a claim.

Charlie Crenchaw, 1964
ref: http://www.datacove.com/Benton/1964MtMcKinley.htm

Don't forget, 1964 was 4 years before the Civil Rights Act was passed.

Climb safe,
Mal


vinnie83


Feb 24, 2012, 7:09 AM
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Re: [jbro_135] First African American to climb Denali? [In reply to]
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jbro_135 wrote:
Unless you were a very rich white man, historically you had very little chance of climbing a peak.

While I agree with this how does it support your claim that climbers certainly used to be racist and were chasing away people because of their skin color? I figured this was more a result of who had the time and resources, not whether rich white climbers were controlling access to major peaks.


ChessRonin


Feb 24, 2012, 7:26 AM
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Re: [Traches] First African American to climb Denali? [In reply to]
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Traches wrote:
The same goes for a million other sports, and there are sports with a disproportionately high number of african americans as well. I don't think that climbers are racist, chasing people away because of their skin color, I think there are cultural differences that cause people of different backgrounds to gravitate toward different sports. I fail to see this as a problem; people should do what they want and everyone else should shut up about it.

Justice Roberts said it well - “The way to stop discriminating on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”

Edit-- That's just my $.02, I'd rather not get into a race debate on the internet. I'm not racist, the few people I've met who are racist are almost universally disliked (and hold job titles like "dishwasher"), and I just have a hard time believing that racism is a rampant problem in the US today. In my view, pointing out racial differences (which is not the same thing as pointing out cultural differences!!) even with good intent does more harm than good.

Justice Roberts got it wrong.

Ignoring an extremely negative history only perpetuates the effects of that history. Acknowledging the history (and thereby endeavoring to remedy its effects) requires acknowledging that racial injustice was a huge factor present during the formation of and maintenance of our nation, institutionalized as a matter of law until very recently (for over 300 years, with institutional changes occurring only within the last 50 years).

It is both naive and callous for a society to say to its oppressed minorities, after over 300 years of systematic and institutional oppression, rape, murder, and deprivation, including over 200 years of forced bondage, that "we no longer care about race, so let's no-one talk about it now."

As to Black climbers, I myself rarely see another at the gym or crag. It is without dispute that climbing is historically a White man's game, so to speak, and it is also true that people in general are more likely to try something new when others with whom they can identify in some way are participating in that thing.

In my opinion, the reason that Black and other non-White climbers may be under-represented is not as much because of a cultural difference, but because climbing is a historically White predominated sport, and because potential climbers see only White people climbing, and aren't as attracted to it as they otherwise might be; given the social history of our nation, I'm sure that you can understand this phenomenon.

Also, consider this; there are plenty of non-White climbers out there; how often do you see them depicted in the climbing media?


blueeyedclimber


Feb 24, 2012, 7:59 AM
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Re: [Traches] First African American to climb Denali? [In reply to]
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Traches wrote:
, and I just have a hard time believing that racism is a rampant problem in the US today. In my view, pointing out racial differences (which is not the same thing as pointing out cultural differences!!) even with good intent does more harm than good.

A lot of white men have trouble believing that racism, sexism, and overall oppression are problems. That's because, well, they are white men and have never been confronted with it.

Josh


csproul


Feb 24, 2012, 8:12 AM
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Re: [Traches] First African American to climb Denali? [In reply to]
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Traches wrote:
...I don't think that climbers are racist...
I doubt that climbers are any more or less racist than most any other sample of the population.


FriscoWilderness


Feb 26, 2012, 8:23 AM
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Re: [maldaly] First African American to climb Denali? [In reply to]
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I can speak on this. I am going to be the first to climb Denali, El Cap, and several other classics, but you wont hear about it anywhere cause even though alot of times I am the only one in alot of places that I go it does not bother me and you wont hear me shouting from the mountain tops either cause I am just a climber, like everyone else.

I also own the country's tallest indoor climbing facility here in dallas that I use for training and if your ever here come check it out. Ive been introducing people to the sport for over 6 years now and not one person has ever mentioned that I am black and I climb, it just never comes up, the climbing world is to cool for that. I am sure others notice me when im out guiding and teaching cause I am very easy to spot

I am heading out west to climb for the first time march 1st for three weeks, JT, RR, Zion after I meet up with my partner from Brazil, so if anyone wants to climb or show me around, hit me up 972-999-6530.


acorneau


Feb 26, 2012, 12:59 PM
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Re: [FriscoWilderness] First African American to climb Denali? [In reply to]
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FriscoWilderness wrote:
I also own the country's tallest indoor climbing facility here in dallas that I use for training and if your ever here come check it out.


Hey Frisco,

Tell Magic Jeff I want my leotard and hat back. He'll know what I'm talking about.

Laugh

Allen.


(This post was edited by acorneau on Feb 26, 2012, 1:00 PM)


FriscoWilderness


Feb 26, 2012, 1:14 PM
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Re: [acorneau] First African American to climb Denali? [In reply to]
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acorneau,

I know what your talking about, I have seen the pics and vids of the antics that go one there. I was soppose to go last sept but couldnt make it cause of this place. I will be there this year though, I am not going to miss out.


JoyTrip


Feb 26, 2012, 3:53 PM
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Re: [maldaly] First African American to climb Denali? [In reply to]
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First I want to thank Malcolm Daly for asking this question on my behalf. I'm pleased and surprised to see that it prompted such a vigorous discussion. So I'd also like to express my appreciation for those of you who have participated and shared your comments. To help you all understand where I'm coming from you need to k now that I am part of a group of climbers who aim to put the first African-American team on the summit of Denali in 2013. I'm a freelance journalist who's written and continues to write several stories on the issue of diversity in outdoor recreation in general and climbing in particular. I had posed the question of the first black person to climb Denali in the hopes putting our efforts into historical context. FYI it was Charlie Crenchaw a member of the Seattle Mountaineers who was part of the 1964 McKinley Expedition.

As to why it matters it's important for us to realize in that same year millions of African-Americans couldn't even vote in this country and less than a decade earlier several National Parks were racially segregated. At a time when people of color in the U.S. seldom ventured out into wilderness areas for fear racially motivated violence few could have dreamed of ever scaling to the highest summit in North America. Crenchaw's climb marked a seminal point history when for the first time a black person in this country had the leisure time, financial resources, the social connections, skills and the inclination to exercise the right many of us take for granted today, the right to do what ever the hell we want to.

As for the present a community of climbers and outdoor enthusiasts that represents the depth and breath of our very diverse population is critical to the preservation of the wild and scenic places we love. As we begin to see a shift in our demographics to favor a non-white majority, as predicted to occur in 2042, what do suppose will happen if most of the people in our country have no interest in protecting wilderness? There will simply be no political will imposed to allocate federal funds or enact legislation to maintain those areas many of you in this forum love most.


There is great strength in diversity. Just as an ecosystem demonstrates its environmental strength by being able to maintain a variety of different species, a social moment, in this case mountaineering, shows it's strength by making itself attractive and relevant to as many different types of people as possible. So for our purposes the members of this climbing team aim to show that despite limited representation in the media and popular culture, black people do climb, we are environmentalists and we're prepared to make all those who hope to join us feel welcome.

Please follow along on our journey. The first post on Expedition Denali, inspiring diversity in the outdoors can be found on my blog The Joy Trip Project.org: http://joytripproject.org/...y-diversity-matters/


(This post was edited by JoyTrip on Feb 26, 2012, 3:56 PM)


FriscoWilderness


Feb 26, 2012, 4:19 PM
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Re: [JoyTrip] First African American to climb Denali? [In reply to]
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Read the blog and giving the opportunity and access to all is what we are about down here. Was this being kept a secret or what? I am also a NOLS graduate and dont remember hearing anything about it. Good job! keep up the good work.


JoyTrip


Feb 27, 2012, 10:28 AM
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Re: [FriscoWilderness] First African American to climb Denali? [In reply to]
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Frisco, this a relatively new initiative that's still in the planning and fundraising stage at the moment. Not a secret, but still in development. I hope you'll get involved


FriscoWilderness


Feb 27, 2012, 11:11 AM
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Is there room for one more? Im being serious. I would like to contribute any way I can.


FriscoWilderness


Feb 27, 2012, 11:24 AM
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Sent you a PM.


hobgoblin11


Feb 27, 2012, 2:08 PM
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Re: [maldaly] First African American to climb Denali? [In reply to]
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maldaly wrote:
Hey climbing peeps, I'm trying to help out a friend with a project. Does anyone out there know who the first African American to climb Denali (Mt. McKinley) was? Thanks in advance.

What the hell is an "African American"? What if he wasnt born in Africa or speak any of its dialects? Would that still count?

What if he has really light skin because he is a descendant of European colonists but his family has lived in Africa for hundreds of years?

And what difference does it make where his family is from or what color his skin is?

Or are you trying to point out that there is a difference and thats its somehow harder for him to climb because of any of the above reasons?




You should be asking yourself.. why would someone ask a dumb fucking question like this in the first place.


FriscoWilderness


Feb 27, 2012, 3:48 PM
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Re: [hobgoblin11] First African American to climb Denali? [In reply to]
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Dave Mathews is (South) African American.

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