Articles in the Play Category
Jul. 26, 1940: Street Shower Hagerstown, Md. |© Charles W. Cushman|
Lately, I have come upon many collections of photos online of black people, especially youth, connecting to nature in a variety of ways. Some images are sent to me by members of the OA community, and others I have found after researching image sources. There are just so many examples that share an historic visual narrative of organic connections to nature, now rarely seen in popular culture today.
Here is my new favorite above of children at play. Note the five kids to the …
Children and Nature, Community, Diversity, Family, Play »
Our family recently moved into a lovely place back in my familiar, and dynamic hometown of Oakland, California. For the previous six years we resided in a nearby small and sheltered community known for its excellent schools, low crime, and civic pride. There, my children roamed free outdoors, and visited neighbors – sometimes well into the evening after dark.
Courtesy of Oakland Local
After several weeks of searching, a house found us in Maxwell Park, a well established and diverse urban neighborhood. But after moving in, I soon noticed the absence of children …
beaches, Events, Leadership, Play, Urban Nature »
Outdoor Afro is proud to feature Viva Yeboah of Outdoor Afro Chicago! A passionate nature-lover, Viva joined our Outdoor Afro Leadership team in April. We welcome her and are so glad to hear her words about the OA Chicago kick-off event!
On a windy 90’s degree day, Outdoor Afro held its first event in Chicago. With the guidance from Rue Mapp, Outdoor Afro Founder, and my sis, I organized a kickoff event at 31st Street Beach in Chicago Bronzeville neighborhood. This event gave folks a chance to hang out, find out …
Children and Nature, Play, Snow, Urban Nature, Youth »
The Snowy Day, by author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats (1916-1983) is a book I loved to read as a child, and in recent years have enjoyed with my own three children.
Today marks the book’s 50th Anniversary, and is the first children’s picture book of its time to feature an African American boy hero. What inspires me today about the narrative is its tribute to the carefree way urban youth independently experienced nature in winter.
Using collage as a medium for illustration, Keats tells the story of young Peter who leaves his apartment alone to join …
Last spring, I helped to organize a local event as part of a national campaign to get people connected to nature. As much as I wanted to share how wonderful the event was, how well attended and rich the experience, until now I was unable to do so because there was a part of the experience that day that pained me, and has since sat like a lump in the back of my throat.
All the time I hear reasons why African-Americans do not engage with the outdoors. From experience, I …
Children and Nature, Play »
In playgrounds across the country it is common to hear caregivers singing: Be nice…You have to share…Good job…
Over the weekend I was reflecting on how much my friends and I have learned to intervene and involve ourselves in our children’s play as a demonstration of what we have come to think of as good parenting — very much unlike our own parents, who seemed to never be clued in to our own childhood playtime.
In the video below, I realized I had to make an effort to bite my tongue as …
Children and Nature, Family, Field Report, Nature, Nature Deficit Disorder, Play, Youth »
A New Form of Social Space
Last weekend my family joined dozens of others for some fun in a Wild Zone, a place where adults, children and adolescents can co-create a new form of public space that is dedicated to creativity and play in nature. Wild Zones differ from parks and play areas because they offer opportunities to interact with the environment rather than leaving it untouched.
Here is what we walked into:
David Hawkins and Karen Payne, are the co-founders of this roving system of play, and are passionate advocates of …