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Aug 16, 2023

"I believe the best way to begin reconnecting humanity's heart, mind, and soul to nature is for us to share our individual stories" --J. Drew Lanham

Hope and Feathers

"Africa is a place we all have in common. It is the widely acknowledged cradle of humankind, as most anthropologists agree that our hominid ancestors likely evolved there. So an Evolutionary Eve, mother to all of us regardless of race, ethnicity, or nationality, likely padded across the African plains. Given this multimillion-year perspective, I or anyone else should've been awestruck at the prospect of treading the same ground as some australopithecine grandparent. But that was not necessarily the case. Twenty-one of us, including a dozen or so students and a handful of older lifelong learners, were "sacrificing" spring break to study the wildlife ecology of the North Cape. I was along as the co-leader, the trip ornithologist, the designated birder. Professionally, I was well equipped to do the job. Cleverly disguising myself as a wildlife ecology professor, I've gamed the system, teaching field ornithology and researching bird habitat relationships, at times going to "work" to do things most folks only find time to do on vacation. For the wildlife work I do, the trip promised to be a dream experience. For the black man that I am, the promises were less certain..." J. Drew Lanham shares more.


Lanham is the author of, "The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature." More in this On Being interview with him. More ...