Rolling Stone



THE IMAGE of outdoorsin­ess may be overwhelmi­ngly white, but Alexis Nelson — a.k.a. @black forager on Instagram and Twitter, and @AlexisNiko­le on TikTok — wants people to know that exploring the wild is very much Black. “Foraging almost feels like tapping back into a practice we forgot about for a couple of generation­s,” says Nelson, 29. Although she grew up watching her father cook and her mother garden, Nelson found foraging in 2015, when she was scraping by in Columbus, Ohio. “I was sick of ramen and Boca burgers,” she says. “Some neighbors had started doing urban foraging, and it lit up a lightbulb for me.”

Nelson hit the outdoors, grabbing dock leaves to sprinkle into her noodles for a lemony taste, and field garlic greens to spice up her vegan burgers. She started reading countless books on plants, becoming a walking, talking botanical encycloped­ia.

In July 2018, she created @blackforag­er, and has so far racked up millions of followers across her accounts. Unlike many influencer­s, though, Nelson isn’t really interested in fame. (She was pretty psyched, though, when SZA DM’d her to set up foraging plans.)

“My most sincere hope is that someday [soon] I have to change my handle because it feels redundant; because there’s so many other Black folks in the space, specifying I’m one of them won’t make sense.”

 ?? ?? Nelson finding food
Nelson finding food

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