Each week, American Routes brings you the songs and stories that describe both the community origins of our music, musicians and cultures — the “roots”— and the many directions they take over time — the “routes.”
This week (July 19 – 26, 2017), we travel to Sea Breeze Beach in North Carolina.
In the late 19th century African American beach communities emerged along the East Coast as havens for black vacationers excluded from white beaches.
Sea Breeze provided summertime leisure to African Americans throughout the Jim Crow era and became one of the few integrated places where blacks and whites could hang out, hear music, and dance together.
Nick Spitzer talks to Elder Alfred Mitchell and Brenda Freeman about their summer memories of Sea Breeze before white developers claimed ownership of the beach.
Enjoy the full program (11:22) at americanroutes.org.