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Snapshots from the Rail

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Scroll down for notes from the WayOut experience. If we don't study ourselves, we get studied. Often, with a lot of misunderstanding and misrepresentation. We're side launching a community ethnographic endeavor-- out of the ivory tower and into the grassroots. The snapshots below are excerpts from written and audio field notes. Join the research. Not as subjects, but as intellectuals. Post your reactions, insights, analysis and similar experiences. 

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“He’s not white, y’all. He’s Black!”

 

The space the event organizer had rented was beautiful. It was one of the nicer places some of us had said we had ever camped. Situated right by water, a sizable sparkly grey pier allowed access for kayaking or fishing.  One camper, after being disappointed that a fish ran off with his fishing pole, ended up avenging himself by catching the renegade fish with a net. He showed his gigantic catfish to the group of campers, many holding up phones to take pics, like paparazzi! He was proud. We were proud. His catch felt like our catch! This feeling of pride came to us again, the next afternoon. 

Mike and I chatted with a group of new friends by a second campfire we had built directly in the sunlight to help fight away the crisp cold of the fall season gradually moving into winter.  The event organizer came by excited. “He’s not white, y’all. He’s Black.” She was referring to the owner of the place of where her camping meetup was being hosted.  An older, fair skinned gentleman with a greyish white beard, it was not easy to tell.  And many assumed that he was white. The owner came by to visit with the campers that day so someone asked him. Once confirmed, whispers of, “This place is owned by a Black man”, reverberated through the campers, many taking pride in his ownership. The event organizer shared, “I try to do Black-owned campgrounds, but I can’t all the time.”  “That’s cool,” I tell her. You’re doing it without even trying!” Another camper chimes in, “We outchea. We just don’t be knowing.”

“This helped me with my PTSD”
"Where ya going in those flip flops, girl?"
 

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Friday, 09 December 2022