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Heading OutA History of American Camping$
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Terence Young

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780801454028

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801454028.001.0001

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Liberalizing the Campground

Liberalizing the Campground

W. J. Trent Jr. and the Struggle against National Park Segregation

Chapter:
(p.173) Chapter Five Liberalizing the Campground
Source:
Heading Out
Author(s):

Terence Young

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801454028.003.0006

This chapter looks at how the inexpensive automobile extended camping to the mass of middle-and working-class Americans. During the 1920s, some African Americans, like their white counterparts, had grown wealthier and embraced a variety of short and extended recreations, including such nature-based activities as relaxing at the beach, swimming, picnicking, fishing, hiking, participating in the Boy Scouts and Camp Fire Girls, enrolling at summer camps, and family camping. However, when several new national parks opened in southern states during the 1930s, the campgrounds were racially segregated. For one African American, William J. Trent, Jr., this was unacceptable, and he waged a long and often lonely campaign to officially desegregate all national park campgrounds.

Keywords:   automobile camping, working-class Americans, African Americans, recreations, nature-based activities, racial segregation, national parks

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