History of Double Dutch
Caption: In preparation for the upcoming Eighth Annual World International Double Dutch Tournament, New York’s oldest Black-owned newspaper, the Amsterdam News, explained the history of the game.
Two Black Harlem police officers, Mike Walker and Ulysses Williams, founded the first Annual World International Double Dutch competition in 1974. Having grown up watching Black girls play the two-jump-rope game throughout their neighborhood, Walker and Williams wanted to encourage more girls to play. They created a rule book for the game, and incorporated aspects of other sports (like compulsory tricks, speed testing, and freestyle). They also established the international tournament and a city-wide league. Walker and Williams lobbied physical education teachers in the city’s intermediate schools to incorporate the sport into their classes, and encourage girls to join the league where they could enjoy the low-cost sports pastime.
Date: Jun 6, 1981
Source: New York Amsterdam News
Copyright: Under copyright. Used with permission.
How to cite: “History of Double Dutch,” in New York City Civil Rights History Project, Accessed: [Month Day, Year], https://nyccivilrightshistory.org/gallery/history-double-dutch.
Questions to Consider
- Why were these Double Dutch competitions founded?
- Do you think of Double Dutch competitions as educational activism? Why or why not?
- What role might Black-owned media, like the Amsterdam News, play in the promotion and success of Black education activism?
- How does this source illustrate the role that joy can play in education activism?
- In the 1930s and to the present, police officers have been involved in childrens’ recreation through the Police Athletic League. What are your thoughts about police connecting with children through sports?
How to Print this Page
- Press Ctrl + P or Cmd + P to open the print dialogue window.
- Under settings, choose "display headers and footers" if you want to print page numbers and the web address.
- Embedded PDF files will not print as part of the page. For best printing results, download the PDF and print from Adobe Reader or Preview.