An African American Community
Recreation Center: Participants’ and
Volunteers’ Perceptions of Racism
and Racial Identity

Dublin Core

Title

An African American Community
Recreation Center: Participants’ and
Volunteers’ Perceptions of Racism
and Racial Identity

Subject

Douglas Center

Description

Recognizing that racial segregation often takes
place in leisure spaces, we sought to gain a greater understanding of African
Americans who specifi cally seek out leisure settings that are linked
to their sub-population. Th us, the purpose of this exploratory study was
to compare African Americans who are involved in an African American
community center and/or volunteer for associations closely linked to
the African American population to those who are not involved. Comparisons
were made based on their racial identity and their perceptions
of racism. Our research expectations were that those who chose to be
more closely associated with the African American population would have
stronger perceptions of racism and racial identity when compared to those
African Americans who were not involved. Th ere is a growing area of
research that examines the connections between racism, discrimination
and leisure behavior and we sought to add to this body of research by
examining perceptions of racism and racial identity and its relationship to
African Americans’ choices of leisure setting. Data were collected through
on-site questionnaire surveys that were distributed at an African American
community center (Frederick Douglass Community Center-FDC), doorto-
door in an African American neighborhood, and at a neighborhood
barbershop. Comparisons between FDC volunteers and non-volunteers
revealed no signifi cant diff erences with respect to perceptions of racism
or racial identity. Similarly, comparisons between community-wide volunteers
and non-volunteers suggested no signifi cant diff erences in terms
of perceptions of racism; however, community-wide volunteers reported
signifi cantly higher levels of racial identity than did non-volunteers. Community-
wide volunteers were also signifi cantly more active as participants,
both at the FDC and in other African American programs in the community.
And fi nally, comparisons between FDC participants and non-participants indicated no signifi cant diff erences between the groups, in either
their perceptions of racism or their racial identity. Th us, in response to
our research expectations, we found that African Americans involved at
the FDC (either as participants and/or volunteers) did not have stronger
perceptions of racism and racial identities than did those who remained
uninvolved. However, those who served as volunteers in various African
American programs across the community did report a stronger racial
identity than did non-volunteers. Managerial implications include gaining
some insight into those African Americans who specifi cally seek out
leisure settings that are linked to their sub-population, and recognizing
that racially segregated programs and services may be desirable for some
minority populations given today’s racial climate.

Creator

Kimberly J. Shinew
Rasul Mowatt
Troy Glover

Publisher

Journal of Park and Recreation Administration

Date

Summer 2007

Contribution Form

Online Submission

No

Files

Citation

Kimberly J. Shinew Rasul Mowatt Troy Glover, “An African American Community Recreation Center: Participants’ and Volunteers’ Perceptions of Racism and Racial Identity,” eBlack Champaign-Urbana, accessed November 21, 2019, http://eblackcu.net/portal/items/show/217.

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File: Article6.pdf