The presence of black naturist faces in white naturist spaces is an important issue. As the naturist populations ages the practice can only survive and thrive if new populations of people find a path into the naturist community. If you have followed this site, you know We are intentional about exploring the role and presence of people of color and black and brown people in naturism. When I saw this book with the hashtag #blacknaturist on Instagram I was inspired to explore the idea futher from a naturist perspective. What happens when black naturist faces show up in white naturist spaces.
white naturist spaces
You may wonder why the description of white naturist spaces is appropriate? Aren’t naturist spaces, spaces of equality that welcome everyone. Many of European descent and some non-white individuals believe this to be true. But history and my experience that statement doesn’t prove to be true. Black and brown people sometimes feel isolated when they are the only ones in white naturist spaces even if they are welcomed. To the best of my knowledge there isn’t a single clothing optional or naturist venue in America or Canada that is owned or operated by a black or brown person. Truth is they way black and brown people are received and engaged in naturist spaces that are exclusively white owned and operated varies greatly. Despite the idealistic notion that race and color doesn’t matter.
black naturist faces
Black naturist faces participated in American naturism since its since its golden age. That participation did not mean they we universally welcomed. Black faces and naked black bodies have been routinely fetishized, ostracized and excluded from American naturist community. The black naturist pioneers like their civil right counter parts challenged the prejudices and sometimes outright racism they experienced. E.J. Samuels and other pioneering black faces were determined to pursue their love of naturism despite this.
These black naturist faces like Matthew Bullock were the hidden figures of naturist community. They suffered rejected when they brought their black naturist faces into white naturist spaces, but they persisted.
black naturist faces in white naturist spaces today
The black brown and other non white naturist faces in white naturist spaces today are the beneficiaries of the pioneers persistence. There are still a need for greater representation of black naturist faces in the advertising and promotion of naturism. However fewer people are likely to say “black folks don’t do that”. Though still. In the minority I regularly see more and more black naturist faces at naturist clubs, events and venues. A black naturist travel (non-landed) club was formed in 2018.
Are we not all " Naturists " without putting an added tag on to us with regard to ethnic orientation or gender orientation too
— nudeme (@nudeme8) August 24, 2019
where are all the black naturist faces?
Some are still asking this question. There are many reasons for the limited presence of black naturist faces in white naturist spaces. Race is still one of them. Despite the ideal of naturism being a place of equality prejudices and racism still exist in society and the naturist community. I have experienced it. I greeted a white person recently at a naturist venue only to have them turn their head and spit on the ground. I have been followed suspiciously the way the I get followed sometimes in a department store. I have seen people pull their children close as I walk towards them as I experience on the streets. Yes, race is still a factor but it isn’t the only one.
If equality isn’t automatic and prejudices still exist. How can black naturist faces persist or even grow today? I have observed two things that seem to bring greater engagement. A shared symbol that is bigger than naturism. Nationalistic and patriotic symbols work. The second is money. If you can afford to pay the membership or the daily pass fee you aren’t likely to be disregarded. Likewise people who have military experience or having patriotic symbols seem to break the ice. Whatever the path to engagement is black and brown people should find and take let them see you.
let them see your black naturist face
What can black people do to impact the situation. As much as possible blacks folks need to show up. Follow the example of those pioneers that went before us. We should reclaim our pre-colonial legacy as naturist people. The colonialists put clothes on our ancestors blacks, but we can take those clothes off ourselves.
This is my seventh summer participating in naturist spaces as black man. When I first started going the place frequent most it was pretty rare that I say someone who looked like me. Now there are many more. Over the years I had enough positive experiences to balance out the negative and actually over whelm them.
Here are some examples. Getting a flat tire and having a young man who lives at the venue help me take my tire off. Then he took it to his garage and replaced and helped me put it back on my car. Accidentally locking my keys in my car and having some and owner actually comity to helping me instead calling AAA and not being satisfied until the job was done. And most recently purchasing a trailer at the venue from a couple who went to extraordinary effort to make sure I had every thing I need as I first timer.
None of that would have happened if I did not continue to show up and be that sometimes only black naturist face in a white naturist space. So as challenging as it is for black folks sometimes I want to encourage you all to make some connections, participate as a group but do show up. It is the future of naturism and our move black to the future