At the meeting held on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, the Board of County Commissioners approved Resolution No. 2022-05, proclaiming January 31, 2022 as “American Beach Day”.
2022 marks the 87th 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 nightclubs. American Beach hosted numerous celebrities during this period including: Zora Neale Hurston, Billie Daniels, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Hank Aaron, and Joe Louis. American Beach is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.