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There’s reality behind some of these beliefs, but the big takeaway—that black people dislike the outdoors—is wrong. I’ve loved the woods and wild places all my life, and the same is true for my family and friends. According to a 2016 poll by New America Media’s Next 100 Coalition—a group of civil rights, conservation, and community organizations working to bring diversity to national parks and other outdoor spaces—we’re not alone. Seventy percent of those surveyed, all people of color, said they regularly participate in outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, photography, and picnicking. In that same poll, 57 percent of respondents said they’d visited U.S. public lands.

So why do these stereotypes persist, despite statistics and visible evidence that prove otherwise?

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