This week is the second annual Black Birders Week. It was created in response to an incident in Central Park in New York City, where a Black birder was racially profiled and harassed. The week invites more Black folks to learn about birding, which has historically been very white. Tenijah Hamilton, the host of Bring Birds Back podcast, spoke to graduate student Sheridan Alford about how to lift up Black people in the bird world.
Learn how to participate at BlackAFinSTEM.com!
Celebrating Black Birders Week
Written by Mark Bramhill
This is BirdNote.
This week, the first week of June, marks the second annual Black Birders Week. The original event was created in response to renowned birder Christian Cooper being racially profiled and harassed while out in the Ramble in Central Park.
Black Birders Week invites more Black folks to learn about birding and feel welcomed into a world that has historically been very white — according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, 93% white as of 2011. But for organizers like Sheridan Alford, it’s also about lifting up all the talented Black people who are in the bird world despite its barriers.
Sheridan Alford: Let's celebrate the people that are already outdoors! There's kids, there's grandparents, there's people in academia, there's people who do it for sport — there's Black people outside. You just gotta find them.
People like Sheridan! She’s a graduate student focussed on environmental outreach and education. Or Christian Cooper, or Drew Lanham, or Corina Newsome — the list goes on.
You can follow along and participate in the week’s events by going to BirdNote.org. And you can hear the full conversation I had with Sheridan on BirdNote’s new podcast, Bring Birds Back. Follow in your podcast app, or listen on BirdNote.org. I’m Tenijah Hamilton.
Senior Producer: John Kessler
Production Manager: Allison Wilson
Producer: Mark Bramhill
Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone
Digital Producer: Conor Gearin
Bird sounds recorded by Gordon Hempton.
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© 2021 BirdNote June 2021 Narrator: Tenijah Hamilton
ID# PodBBB-01-2021-06-01 PodBBB-01