When Lemuel Horton got interested in RV camping five decades ago, it wasn’t easy to find campgrounds that would accept black guests, and though times have changed, many black RV enthusiasts lament that they still find themselves the only people of color when they set up camp.
It’s why the National African-American RVers Association was created.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that hundreds of members of the 23-year-old club are at Southern Palms RV Resort in Lake County this week for their annual rally. It’s about the love of travel and the camaraderie of people who share the same passion.
“You develop friendships with people all around the U.S.,” said Horton, who lives in Georgia and is retired from the Army and a civilian career.
A 2014 report by the Outdoor Foundation found that only 4 percent of campers were African-American, although blacks make up 13 percent of the U.S. population. By contrast, 77 percent of campers were white, mirroring their proportion in society.
“We would go to a campground and there was no one like us,” said Elaine Standifer, 67, a retired middle-school registrar from Virginia and founder of the DC Connection RV Club. “It’s always nice to connect with other people.”