Chowan Beach, Hertford County, North Carolina (1926-2004)

Chowan Beach was an African American playground founded in 1926 when Eli Reid of Winton, in Hertford County, North Carolina, converted an abandoned fishing beach along the Chowan River into a family-oriented resort for African Americans. The area was originally settled in the Colonial era … Read MoreChowan Beach, Hertford County, North Carolina (1926-2004)

Freeman Beach-Seabreeze, Wilmington, North Carolina (ca. 1885- )

Freeman Beach, near Wilmington, North Carolina, was one of two North Carolina beaches available to African Americans in the state during the Jim Crow era.  The beach area, originally 99 acres of underdeveloped beachfront land near Myrtle Grove Sound, was acquired by former slaves Alexander … Read MoreFreeman Beach-Seabreeze, Wilmington, North Carolina (ca. 1885- )

Buckroe Beach, Hampton, Virginia (1890- )

Buckroe Beach is one of the oldest recreational regions in Virginia. In 1619, the “Buck Roe” plantation was designated for public use for the newly arrived English settlers sent by the Virginia Company of London. By 1637, however, the plantation was converted into a commercial … Read MoreBuckroe Beach, Hampton, Virginia (1890- )

Chicken Bone Beach, Atlantic City, New Jersey (1900- )

Located on the long stretch of the Atlantic City, New Jersey, shoreline just south of downtown, Chicken Bone Beach was designated as the exclusively African American section of beach around 1900.  It remained a blacks only beach until the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed.  … Read MoreChicken Bone Beach, Atlantic City, New Jersey (1900- )

Woodland Park, Michigan (1921- )

Woodland Park, Michigan was a small resort established by Marion E. Auther, a black Ohio businessman and leading salesman for the Idlewild Resort Company, the same company that developed the much more famous Idlewild resort.  Woodland Park began when the Brookings Lumber Company sold the … Read MoreWoodland Park, Michigan (1921- )

American Beach, Jacksonville, Florida (1936- )

American Beach, the only beach in Florida that welcomed black Americans and offered safe, secure overnight accommodations during Jim Crow segregation, was founded in 1935 by the Afro-American Life Insurance Company (AALIC) which was established in 1901 to provide the Jacksonville, Florida black community with … Read MoreAmerican Beach, Jacksonville, Florida (1936- )

Highland Beach, Maryland (1893- )

Highland Beach, Maryland, the oldest of the major black resort towns, was founded along the western shore of Chesapeake Bay in 1893 by Charles and Laura Douglass.  Charles Douglass was the son of prominent abolitionist and nineteenth-century civil rights activist Frederick Douglass. Major Charles Douglass, … Read MoreHighland Beach, Maryland (1893- )