I greatly enjoyed the exhibition on African American Explorers and Adventurers past and present currently running at the Union Parish Library.
Kimmie Paxton and I filmed the presentation event on February 21 for a DVD that will be archived at the library for use by patrons and schools.
I had no idea how many African Americans have made and are still making such impact in their work outdoors!
The presentation began with Stephanie Herrmann's introduction and the shocking revelation that most school kids spend less time outdoors than prison inmates these days and includes a recollection of how kids enjoyed a local camping expedition!
"The path is not easy, the climbing is rugged and hard, but the glory at the end is worthwhile." —Matthew Henson, first person to trek to the North Pole
This movie was filmed at Union Parish Library on Friday, February 21st 2020. It includes the following sections:
Welcome and Introductions
Stephanie Herrmann, Library Director
Prayer of Blessing for Adventurers and Explorers by
Rev. Donald Dredd, of Fellowship Baptist Church/Simsboro
Hit the Bike Trails with Torrance Strong
Rev. Bobby Joe Douglas, Word Church/Bastrop-Grambling
Torrance Strong, Cyclist Advocate #GOTSTRONG it's more than just cycling, it's about improving the community transport environment and accessibility to all cyclists. This made me think, "Wow! Time to inflate the tires and hit the trails in the wildlife refuges!"
Hook, Line, and Sinker with Torica Whitty
Introduced by Verdell Ventroy of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Torica Whitty, Professional Angler & Motorcycle Outdoor Enthusiast talks very eloquently about her experiences in the USAF and as a professional Angler, the opportunities and benefits of fishing for everyone, including girls and ladies.
Backwoods Biologist with Maury Bedford
Introduced by Rev. Samuel Elsworth of Zion Hill Baptist Church
Maury Bedford, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuge Manager of
D’Arbonne Refuge and Upper Ouachita Wildlife Refuge. It was really interesting to hear this mild-spoken gentleman Wildlife Biologist as he encourages a new intake of staff into the service.
Not So Cuddly Critters with Nova Clarke
Introduced by Cynthia Gatson, 21st Century Learning Coordinator
Nova Clarke, vivacious Environmental Educator at Black Bayou National Wildlife Refuge is also a Louisiana Master Naturalist Association Member in our Northeast group.
Wild Wild West with Layon Gray
Introduced by Rev. James Douglas, Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church,
Marion Layon Gray, Broadway Playwright/Director
“Cowboy” The Story of Bass Reeves
Bayou Blues with Pon Dixson
Introduced by Fred Carr, Union Parish Voter’s League President
Pon Dixson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuge Manager Musician/Custom-Guitar Artisan talked about his life as a hunter and his later service career and recommends young people consider a career in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service.
Introduction to Adventurers and Explorers Exhibit by Nell Wayne, City of Farmerville Mayor’s Office &
Jackie Hill, D.A.R.T. Director
Tour of the Exhibit was hosted by Marilyn Holly, Library Board Member
Special thanks also go to our community donors who provided items for the awesome exhibit:
North Louisiana Aviation Museum,
Union Parish Museum of History and Art,
Lake D’Arbonne State Park,
Richard Lowery (Excellent bird photographer and Nature writer),
Black Bayou Lake and D’Arbonne National Wildlife Refuges.
This is the low resolution version of our latest film celebrating 2020 Black History Month for Union Parish Library. It's over two hours long and the DVD cut will be more compact.
Library Director Stephanie Herrmann is a member of our LMNA in the Northeast Chapter and one of the most vocal advocates of adventure and exploration that I've ever met!
She runs the local Kayak Club, The Annual River Rat Challenge, made a Save Our Swamp Litter abatement programme and started a seed-bank amongst other things. Her goal in 2020 is to reduce stereotypes and barriers for African Americans in the outdoors by celebrating the lives and stories of explorers and adventurers throughout black history. Her exhibition allows us to step into the shoes of pioneers that climbed Mount Everest and explored wild and unforgiving landscapes. The courageous. The bold. The audacious!
They were farmers, hikers, naturalists, biologists, environmentalists, rangers, cowboys, stage coach drivers, fur traders, mountain men, farmers, aviators, soldiers, hunters, botanists, mountaineers, climbers, astronauts, guides, abolitionists, U.S. Marshals, spies, scouts, surveyors, zoologists, wilderness trekkers, astronomers, conquistadors, cyclists, backpackers, writers, poets, campers, settlers, and founders. This list was not just the past, but is rather just the beginning…