Lecture -- Jim Crow Parks in North Carolina and the American South

The popular natural area near Raleigh, known today as William B. Umstead State Park, was designed as a racially segregated facility during Jim Crow era. This lecture, in part, presents the history of the facility, constructed during the New Deal as “Crabtree Creek Recreational Demonstration Area.” Between 1950 and 1966, the facility had been recast as separate parks, and the space originally restricted to Black visitors was called Reedy Creek State Park. Expanding from this North Carolina example, William O'Brien will emphasize the broader regional context of segregated state park development in the South. We will discuss landscape design and built features in segregated parks and the pattern of relative deprivation of access and the inferior quality of facilities endured by Black residents of the region.

Recommended Reading: Landscapes of Exclusion: State Parks and Jim Crow in the American South, by William O’Brien

Registration deadline: Oct. 30 

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