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Miles Dean- Short Bio

New York To California Trail Rider
Fee: Please contact for more Info
Mr. Dean Commutes from New Jersey



Man’s journey educates, unites
Teacher travels from New York to California for black historyMiles Dean

2008-02-03 06:00:00
When Miles J. Dean saddled up Sept. 22 in New York City, the mission he had in mind was to educate people about the role black Americans played in the development of the nation.
Some 1,800 miles into his trip, Dean has learned people are willing to listen.

“People want to know more about history that isn’t necessarily in a textbook,” Dean said during a cell-phone interview while he was riding along Interstate 20 a few miles west of Odessa headed toward Monahans. “They are open and receptive to it.”

While he said adults often tell him they wish they had learned history a different way, children sometimes react the strongest to Dean and his odyssey that brings to mind the Old West.

“Most of the time they are pretty naïve about history, but they can get pretty excited about it when you present it to them a certain way,” he said.

Dean knows a bit about educating children. The Brooklyn native is a schoolteacher in New Jersey by trade. In 1993, he organized the Black Heritage Riders of America to combine his training as an educator and his equestrian skills.

The mission statement of the Black Heritage Riders is “To provide creative educational programs that encourage, stimulate, and engage students in the disciplines of social studies, literacy, and science.”

There’s a deeper motivation at work as well.

By traveling across America on his horses, Dean said he is helping to build harmony between cultures. He rides an Arabian Saddlebred Stallion named Sankosa (an African word meaning to return to the place of origin) and a Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse named Southern Sun.
Dean’s mission does more than educate everyone about historical facts. For blacks, it builds a certain sense of pride.

“There’s more of a measure of respect for themselves and their ancestors and their accomplishments,” Dean said.

As for the grind of the trip itself?

“Well,” Dean said with a thoughtful pause, “it has its ups and downs.”