Advocates for wilderness recreation thought of nationwide parks as a technique to forestall black criminality. As early as a result of the 1920s, officers argued that leisure areas and parks for African Individuals would help to cope with stereotypical problems with crime and juvenile delinquency. In October 1925, whereas introducing a speaker on the Twelfth Recreation Congress in Asheville, North Carolina, Chairman Robert Lassiter stated that, “with right consideration to leisure facilities, they [African Americans] will make good residents. Improper consideration to that, and neglect and abuse of it, will make a jail inhabitants” (p. 34). These assumptions about black criminality knew no shade line. The following 12 months, Ernest Attwell, director of the Parks and Recreation Affiliation (PRA) Bureau of Colored Work and a Tuskegee Institute graduate, reiterated Lassiter’s views.
O’Brien’s information spans a time-frame beginning with the origins of state park enchancment throughout the 1930s to the turbulent civil rights interval throughout the 1960s and relates how the occasion of state parks mirrored the political and racial conflicts of these a few years. All by way of, Landscapes of Exclusionemphasizes how native, state, and federal firms adhered to what was often known as “customary” practices to justify using public funds to assemble and protect segregated state parks. By the 1930s and 1940s, while state park officers acknowledged African Individuals’ need for state parks, Jim Crow authorized tips and the hostility of white residents meant that almost all southern states refused to supply them.
After World Wrestle II, throughout the face of mounting challenges to segregation, southern states proposed a additional expansive group of segregated parks for African Individuals and the leasing of whites-only parks to private entities in an attempt to forestall integration. No matter these makes an try to guard Jim Crow, civil rights activists nonetheless continued. In 1951, four African American beachgoers had been denied entry into Seashore State Park on Cape Henry in Virginia. When attorneys from the Nationwide Affiliation for the Improvement of Colored People (NAACP) filed a lawsuit, the Virginia Division of Conservation offered to assemble a park for African Individuals near Seashore State Park with associated services. When the NAACP rejected this provide, they filed swimsuit in Tate v. Division of Conservation.