Independent Historian

Dr. Alison Rose Jefferson is an independent historian, heritage conservation consultant and a third generation Californian. Her research interests explore the intersection of American history, the African American experience in California, historical memory, spatial justice, commemorative justice, and cultural tourism. Her scholarly work, public engagement, and professional service includes work with colleagues: in academic and grade school youth programs and public policy; at historical sites; in documentary films and the arts; and other public programming collaborations.

The Inkwell, Martha’s Vineyard (1890s- )

Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard, part of Massachusetts’ Cape Cod Islands, is one of several historic African American summer resort communities along the Atlantic seaboard founded in the 1890s. The” Inkwell” or Town Beach in Oak Bluffs is the name of the popular beach frequented … Read MoreThe Inkwell, Martha’s Vineyard (1890s- )

Nicolas Rolando [“Nick”] Gabaldon (1927-1951)

Surfing aficionados credit Nick Gabaldon as California’s first documented surfer of African and Mexican American descent. A skilled recreational surfer, his legacy has inspired many, including especially surfers of color, to consider him as a role model. Born Nicolas Rolando “Nick” Gabaldon, Jr. in Los … Read MoreNicolas Rolando [“Nick”] Gabaldon (1927-1951)

The Inkwell, Santa Monica, California (1905-1964)

The Inkwell was a popular beach for African Americans in Southern California through the middle decades of the Twentieth Century.  The beach at Bay Street fanning out a block to the north and south was derogatorily called “The Inkwell” by nearby Anglos in reference to … Read MoreThe Inkwell, Santa Monica, California (1905-1964)