May 28, 2020

Devlin Interviewed about National Parks Segregation Study on WVTF

Assistant Professor of History Erin Devlin

Assistant Professor of History Erin Devlin

Assistant Professor of History and American Studies Erin Devlin was interviewed by WVTF 88.3 Radio IQ about her study on segregation in Virginia’s national parks, commissioned by the National Park Service with the Organization of American Historians:

She’s poured over planning documents, blueprints, and maps in the hopes of understanding how segregation was implemented at the park. She’s built a whole filing cabinet full of sources. One drawer holds documents relevant to the state of Virginia, which resisted federal efforts to desegregate.

That evidence of segregation is right in front of park visitors all over Virginia, it’s just a matter of seeing it. “There are some picnic tables that are in an open meadow and there are other picnic tables that are in a shaded wood,” Devlin notes. “And that is a product of, in some cases, this legacy of planning for segregation and that there was a desire to tuck away African-American visitors in quiet corners of the parks.” Read more.