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Frank and Audrey Peterman

Airs Saturdays at 6AM on 93.9 FM and 8PM on AM 820 and Sundays at 2PM on AM 820

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Host Majora Carter with Audrey and Frank Peterman Host Majora Carter with Audrey and Frank Peterman (ThePromisedLand.org)

If Frank and Audrey Peterman have their way, many more of their fellow black Americans will visit our national parks. They take host Majora Carter to Yosemite, where she crawls through a hundred-foot cave and meets Yosemite’s only permanent black park ranger.

On a 10-week tour of 15 national parks in 1995, Frank and Audrey Peterman were awed by the beauty of America and warmed by the friendliness of fellow campers. But among all of the park tourists, the Petermans saw only two fellow African-Americans.

After discovering that many blacks felt no connection with the parks, the Petermans took action: they started a program called “Keeping It Wild,” aimed at encouraging black Americans to visit the nation’s parks and other public lands that they help pay for with tax dollars. As Frank notes, “If you are not involving the communities who will make up a larger percentage of the voting population in the future, how do you then expect them to make decisions that will protect these places for posterity?”

Host Majora Carter joins the Petermans and a group of teens from North Carolina and Houston, Texas, as they crawl through a wondrous 100-foot cave in Yosemite. And we meet Shelton Johnson, Yosemite’s only permanent black park ranger, who is quick to point out that less than 1 percent of the park’s visitors are African-American — a statistic that’s bound to change with Frank and Audrey's influence.

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Comments [3]

C Hunt from Orange County NY

I first heard this program on WNYC while driving to work. I find that parts of this segment were completely BS. Im not really a person to comment or voice an opinion but this segment really rubbed e the wrong way. To hear that this man was move to tears hearing a gang banger express his emotion saying why did no one tell him about nature is really upsetting. This has nothing to with white people trying to keeps any other out of national parks or even getting out of the city. this has nothing to do with any kind of racism. The answer is getting these to pay attention in school and completing school. To hear this man get emotional because no one told him there is something other than concrete is pathetic. I am a person of color and found this completely offensive that inner city kids not know about our national parks, and that this program was blaming it on white people trying to keep other races out of the national parks. I grew up in a city and am completely happy in the outdoors, people have to be responsible for for themselves and not blame others

Nov. 21 2010 07:04 PM
LL from Manhattan

I look forward to listening to this program.
Back in the 1950s when I was in elementary school we were studying United States geography. I got a map from one of the Carolinas' tourist boards. The parks were segregated -- if I'm not mistaken the labels might have even been "Negro......" I wondered whether the scenery was second-class, too.I'm curious about that history and the changes since then.

Nov. 21 2010 11:52 AM
Judeth Forlenza Wesley

Thank you for this wonderful hour of information. I am a professor at Rutgers University where I teach in the School of Social Work a course called Diversity and Oppression.

Are your productions available for download as I would like to share them with my students?

thank you and keep on going......

Nov. 20 2010 07:02 AM

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