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12-min podcast

#BlackBirdersWeek emerged last year from a groundswell of support for Christian Cooper, a Black man and avid birder, who was harassed by a white woman while birding in Central Park. This year is all about celebrating Black joy. Co-organizer Deja Perkins talks about how the week went and why it's important to observe nature wherever you live.

My parents grew up in Brooklyn, but Daddy went to camp in upstate NY. He loved nature in general and birdwatching in particular. Partly to indulge his hobby and also to get us out of the house (so Mom could wash the floors without kids underfoot), every Saturday (until we had better things to do-) he took my brothers & me birding. And taught us to fish (I was the only one who really got into either, though my brothers also liked nature walks). Daddy had several favorite mini-wilderness areas plus Jones Beach, where we birded in cold weather (in summer, the whole family went to the beach to swim most Saturday mornings). I was familiar enough with getting to these places that once when our bus driver got lost on a school trip to Tackapausha Nature Preserve, I was able to navigate us there. I must've been 8-10. One of my rare moments of public applause ;-)

So many memories...there was an old-fashioned general store (yup, on Long Island in the 50s) where Daddy bought us blue ice (blueberry ice pops) on hot days when we went to a nearby little wilderness with a stream where we used to take off our sneakers to wade. And Beaver Dam, where we went fishing.
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