Camping History in America for African Americans 1930-1950

NPS Photo
 Many people have asked us "Why don't Blacks Camp" Apparently we have been, for a long time.
Check out this article about Shenandoah National Park in Virginia
Bus Tour (ca 1950) NPS Website

These are excerpts from a NPS Newsletter written by Reed Engle, Cultural Resource Specialist
from Resource Management Newsletter, January 1996
 On November 30, 1932 Arno B. Cammerer, then Deputy Director, National Park Service, added a hand-written note to Director Albright on a typed memorandum about the development of concession facilities in the proposed park: "Provision for colored guests." Three years before Shenandoah was officially established, the groundwork for an official policy of "separate, but equal" accommodations was being established. 

As these plans were being formulated, Harold L. Ickes, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Secretary of the Interior, wrote in his diary:
... my stand on the Negro question is well known. I have been in the advance of every other member of the Cabinet, and the Negroes recognize this.... It begins to look as if real justice and opportunity for the Negro at long last might begin to come to him at the hands of the Democratic party, which Negroes have scorned... until they swung over to Roosevelt in large numbers in 1932....

Notice the Arrow, designating where African Americans could Camp.

As you can see from this article and these photos, African  American's have a history with  recreational camping.
So there no reason why more of us can't experience the outdoors.

 Photos from National Park Service website

1 comment:

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