"Race is the core of this history, the heart of this history," he said. "It shows that the national parks are as much a cultural resource as a natural resource." -Shelton Johnson (comes via SFGate article – Park ranger asks: Where are the black visitors? by Peter Fimrite, Chronicle Staff Writer)
I saw this quote from an article featuring Park Ranger, Shelton Johnson and I immediately wanted to know more. Thus my Shelton Johnson quest began while reading his thoughts on Race and Wilderness.
The author of Gloryland [Sierra Club/Counterpoint (September 8, 2009)] , a story about the Buffalo soldiers and their contributions to the national parks, and a park ranger, Shelton Johnson speaks candidly about how to bring about social change. "He said in a S.F. Chronicle interview that if Oprah would tour our National Parks, or Snoop Dogg would spend a night singing by a Yosemite campfire, it would help reconnect a group presently disassociated from the natural world.
That natural world has made Johnson – in my mind - a 21st century pioneer, and an educator, who is plowing his way through the forgotten areas of history, and filling in the gaps.
"…the charismatic African-American Yosemite Interpretative Ranger who has recently appeared on Ken Burns’ The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, believes that the facts speak for themselves — that slavery and Jim Crow existed, and that racism has not disappeared." (via SFGate written by Susan Alcorn)
Kudos to Shelton!