Tag Archives: An American Beach for African Americans

Marsha Dean Phelts, American Beach

American Beach: Under the Blue Bottle Tree with Marsha Dean Phelts

The tranquil American Beach breeze blows into Marsha Dean Phelts’ front lawn. It rattles the blue bottles stacked along a palm tree. Phelts says the beach is much quieter now than it was in its heyday. She recalls a time when, she says, “There was always a party going on. American Beach was a place everybody could enjoy and feel a sense of belonging.” For as long as she can remember, has vacationed at on . Until the Civil Rights Act’s passage in 1964, North Florida’s beaches were segregated. American Beach was the among the largest and most frequented black-only …

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