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An American Ascent

Author(s): Distill Productions
Video Release Date: March 19, 2015
Video Source: Vimeo

An American Ascent is a feature documentary about the first African American expedition to tackle North America’s highest peak, Denali.

In only a few decades the United States will become a majority-minority nation, as people of color will outnumber the white majority for the first time ever. Yet, a staggering number of these people do not consider the outdoors as a place for them. In June 2013, nine African Americans set out to build a legacy and become role models for inner city kids and people of color all over America to encourage them to get outside. They did so by taking on the grueling, 20,320 foot peak of the continent’s biggest mountain. 

In the summer of 2013, NOLS brought together a group of inspiring role models who made history as the first team of African Americans to blaze a trail up America’s highest peak—Denali. Though the summit was the goal, the ultimate objective was to build a legacy by paving a way for young people of color to get outside, become passionate about America’s wild places, and chase their own Denali-sized dreams. “An American Ascent” is their story. This thrilling documentary aims to challenge the ubiquitous face of American outdoorsmanship, encouraging people of color to lay claim to the country’s outdoors, including North America’s highest peak.

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