For Immediate Release
February 15, 2024
Contact Information

Candace Dantes

(BPRW) Black History Month 2024: Outdoor Afro uplifts ag contributions of George Washington Carver

(Black PR Wire) Outdoor Afro opens its “Year of Innovation” celebrating internationally recognized inventor, educator, and botanist George Washington Carver during Black History Month 2024. “Our organization encourages U.S. communities to reflect on your own connections to Black history – the heroes and trailblazers like Carver who are in your lives now and whose legacies continue to inspire and shape our collective journey,” said Outdoor Afro Founder and CEO Rue Mapp. Carver developed more than 300 commercial, industrial, and food products between the late 19th and early 20th centuries using the peanut. Many of the items he created are still used in nature today – by Outdoor Afro’s staff, team of volunteer leaders, and community participants across the United States. Earning the nickname “The Peanut Man” (although he didn’t invent peanut butter), Carver originated cooking oils, beverages, paper, soaps, cosmetics, dyes, paints/stains, and even medicines. He also released 44 nature bulletins that reported cultivation findings for farmers, recipes for housewives, and science information for teachers.


Carver originated the modern term “regenerative agriculture.” His care for farmers and farmland in America’s Black Belt Region achieved sustainable agriculture practices like crop rotation to restore nutrients into soil. He hurled into history books by becoming the first Black person to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in 1894. Researching fungal infections of soybean plants, he advanced his knowledge by identifying and treating plant diseases. He advanced his education by earning a Master of Agriculture two years later. Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) in Alabama offered him a faculty position, which he held for the rest of his life. The university established an agricultural school with Carver leading an all-Black faculty. His classroom lessons put emphasis on ag students and Southern farmers learning how to implement conservation techniques that replenished crops and community farmland.

Just as Carver introduced rural producers and young scholars to new ways of tending the land, Outdoor Afro competitively selects and trains volunteer leaders annually who guide more than 60,000 people in U.S. communities through contemporary network activities. Reimagining activities like gardening, foraging, fishing, u-pick farming, and bird watching. Designed to strengthen relationships and stewardship of local land, water, and wildlife. In its 15th year, Outdoor Afro’s flagship Volunteer Leader Program prepares roughly 100 volunteer leaders to connect and reconnect Black people to nature. Each volunteer plans and hosts year-round adventures across the organization’s four regions: Midwest, Northeast, South, and West. Volunteers hold at least 12 network outings a year within their neighborhoods. Outdoor Afro includes 32 networks located in nearly 60 U.S. cities.


“As we embrace Black History Month at Outdoor Afro, it’s important to recognize that celebrating the achievements of the Black American community is not confined to a single month as our monthly nature activities, programs, and campaigns show,” said Mapp. “It’s woven into the fabric of everything we do. Every day. Throughout the year.” Mapp added: “However, this designated time allows us to reflect on the journey and accomplishments of Black individuals across time and space, serving as a poignant reminder of both our progress and the boundless potential that lies ahead.” Carver’s story marks the organization’s third annual Black History Month digital storytelling series. This educational and social campaign helps bring awareness about then-and-now Black nature pioneers. Created for readers and followers to remember, learn from, and become inspired to create community impact as Carver did.

ABOUT OUTDOOR AFRO: Outdoor Afro is a national not-for-profit organization that celebrates and inspires Black connections and leadership in nature. What started as a kitchen table blog by Founder and CEO Rue Mapp in 2009 has since grown into a cutting-edge nationwide organization. Outdoor Afro’s U.S. networks include nearly 100-plus volunteer leaders who guide nature activities in up to 60 cities with network participation reaching 60,000 people annually. Outdoor Afro reconnects Black people to the outdoors through outdoor education, recreation, and conservation. Connect with @outdoorafro on social and visit to follow our year-round nature narratives.

Source: Outdoor Afro