At the meeting held on Monday, January 25, 2021, the Board of County Commissioners approved Resolution No. 2021-008, proclaiming January 31, 2021 as "American Beach Day".
2021 marks the 81st anniversary of the founding of American Beach by Abraham Lincoln Lewis, Florida's first black millionaire and President of the Afro-American Life Insurance Company. Mr. Lewis purchased the area with the intent of providing a place for his employees to vacation and own homes near the beach. In fact, until the passage of the Civil Rights Act, American Beach was the only area where African Americans could enjoy the beach.
From the 1930's through the 1950's, the area was busy with families, churches and children and featured numerous hotels, restaurants and nightclubs. American Beach hosted numerous celebrities during this period including: Zora Neale Hurston, Billie Daniels, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Billy Eckstein, Hank Aaron, Joe Louis, Ossie Davis and Sherman Hemsley. American Beach is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is still draws visitors from around the world.
Ms. Joyce Jefferson, President of the American Beach Property Owner's Association was present at the meeting to accept the Resolution. She thanked the Board for their continued efforts in preserving their unique community. The Board also extended their gratitude to Ms. Jefferson and the other members of the American Beach POA for contributing their hearts and souls into making American Beach the historic jewel that it is.
Public Information Officer
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