aboutThis blog is about my academic journey and my outdoor adventures. I seems to be that rare or weird bird – a Black woman who enjoys hiking, canoeing, cycling and skiing. These things make me happy. A PhD was the perfect way to combine my love of the outdoors and to get out of my mid-life funk. My research is on the perception of the wilderness in the Black imagination. In other words, how to make the outdoors a more welcoming and inviting space for Black people.

Jacqueline L. Scott is a PhD student at the University of Toronto, OISE, in the department of Social Justice Education.

She is a hike leader with two outdoors clubs. Jacqueline leads Black History Walks in Toronto.  She is the author of travel and adventure books, from a Black perspective:

50 Places: A Black History Travel Guide of London

Heartbeats in Africa: A memoir of travel and love.

Sailing on a Half Moon

Talks and Conference Presentations

Toronto Ornithological Club (2018). Birding While Black: Race in the Canadian Outdoors.

Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Black Canadian Studies Association (2018). Skiing While Black: Race, Landscape and Canadian Identity.

Ontario Parks (2018). Colour Outdoors: Race in the Canadian Wilderness.

North American Congress for Conservation Biology (2018). The Construction of the Wilderness in the Black Imagination.


The Conversation. (October 25, 2018). “Do white people dominate the outdoors?” David Labistour, CEO of Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC), asked. As Canada’s iconic retailer of clothing and equipment for the outdoors, what MEC says matters. ‘Do white people dominate the outdoors?’

The Conversation. (October 14, 2018). ‘Sometimes a hat is just a hat. But not when it’s a pith helmet worn by a white politician visiting Africa. Pith helmets are relics of colonialism and its big game hunting tradition. So why would Melania Trump wear one?’ Melania Trump’s pith helmet is not just a hat.

The Conversation. (September 28, 2018). ‘Serena Williams did something that even President Barack Obama could not do. She got angry and showed it.’ That Racist Caricature of Serena Williams Makes me so Angry

The Conversation. (August 19, 2018). ‘How many times have I heard that Black people can’t swim because our bones are too dense? Or we can’t float as our big bottoms drag us down under the water?’ Swimming While Black


Ground Magazine: Ontario Association of Landscape Architects. (2018). Round Table: Confronting marginalization.  Panel interview on stress and marginalization in the city and outdoors. Ground 44, Winter 2018.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: The Current. (October 26, 2018). MEC’s commitment to more diverse models in ads is welcome, if overdue, say critics

National Post. (October 23, 2018). ‘Do white people dominate the outdoors?’ MEC apologizes for using only white models

National Post. (May 24, 2018). Canada’s ‘adventure gap’: Why it doesn’t makes sense for the great outdoors to be such a white space.  ‘There is a sense that the outdoors is a white space, that people of colour don’t belong in that space,’ Jacqueline Scott said in an interview