To celebrate the self-determination of the Black South, women-owned adventure company Black Freedom Outfitters led a three-day journey from New Orleans to AfricaTown, Alabama. Ride along.
I’m Paris Hatcher, a Black queer feminist organizer, strategist—and bike magician. I co-created Black Freedom Outfitters with mother, activist, creative and adventurer zahra alabanza eight years ago to curate experiences that center the histories and geographies of Black people in the great outdoors. Over Memorial Day weekend, we led riders from around the country on the Bike The Gulf Coast Tour from NOLA to the site of AfricaTown in Mobile, Alabama. AfricaTown was a self-governing community built in 1860 by West Africans who were among the last recorded shipment of Blacks imported to the U.S. for the purpose of slavery. Here, highlights from our trip: