Inkwell Beach, Santa Monica, CA
In Los Angeles during the 1920’s, African-Americans who wanted to enjoy the ocean were relegated to a 200-foot-long strip of sand at the Santa Monica beach. The beach, a polluted and abandoned area that no one frequented, was dubbed Inkwell Beach. Nestled on Ocean Front Walk just steps away from Casa Del Mar Hotel, Inkwell Beach was a hangout for the black community—a place for swimming, surfing and volleyball. It was also where Nick Gabaldon, the first known African-American surfer, practiced riding waves in the 1940s. Even though public beach segregation laws were thrown out in 1927, African Americans still went to Inkwell through to the 1950s so they could enjoy the pleasures of the beach without being harassed.