An All-Black Expedition Team Made History At Mount Everest

by Duke Magazine

Full Circle has made history by being the first all-black team to climb Mount Everest.

After training for a few months, the expedition started in the Himalayas and ended at the top of Mount Everest, which is the highest mountain in the world above sea level.

In a post on Full Circle Everest’s Instagram, the team’s leader, Phil Henderson, gushed about how great they were.

“I am very proud to say that seven members of the Full Circle Everest team made it to the top today (May 12),” Henderson wrote in his post. “A few of us, including myself, didn’t make it to the top, but all of the climbers and sherpas made it back to Base Camp safely, where we will celebrate this historic moment!”


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“From the moment @fullcircleeverest took their first steps out of Everest Base Camp, they broke new ground,” the post said. “They were the first all-Black team to try to climb Mount Everest. They brought diversity to the highest point on Earth and the outdoor community around the world.”

Manoah Ainuu, who works for The North Face as a professional climber, Eddie Taylor, Rosemary Saal, Demond Mullins, Thomas Moore, James “KG” Kagami, and Evan Green is also on the team.

In an interview with NPR in 2021, Henderson talked about the need for Black mountaineers and how the sport can show people the beauty of the outdoors.

“We are all Black… “In mountaineering and high-altitude mountaineering, there aren’t enough Black people,” Henderson said. “There are so few of us at this level that it’s kind of our job to bring this to our communities and talk to our young people about the benefits of being outside, connecting with nature, and living a healthy lifestyle for the rest of their lives.”

Sibusiso Vilane of South Africa was the first Black man to reach the top of Mount Everest. In 2006, Sophia Danenberg was the first African American and Black woman to reach the top.

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