March 27, 2023
Annapolis, US 58 F

PODCAST: Teenagers report on the historic black beaches of Annapolis

Simple Stories Season 2 brings you an engaging podcast episode focused on the historic black beaches of Annapolis, MD. This was a project put together by Summer at Key and Platform Media.  You can see images of the project and learn more at Platform Media.

Highland, Carr’s and Sparrow’s beaches were started by decedents of slaves, and turned into safe recreational spaces for black families during the time of segregation.

Carr’s beach was on the Chitlin’ circuit; a venue for African American artists to perform what was known as race music. Ella Fitzgerald, Fats Domino, Billie Holiday, The Drifters, Chuck Berry; thousands of people flocked to Carr’s beach each summer. Cars were parked for miles up Forest Drive, dozens of buses came from all over the East Coast. Carr’s and Sparrow’s beaches of Annapolis were a destination for African Americans to enjoy the Chesapeake Bay free of Jim Crow.

The teens explore the legacy of radio station WANN which broadcast from Carr’s “Bandstand on the Beach.” One of the first stations to target a black audience, WANN is honored at the Smithsonian Museum of American History.

Interviews include:

  • Deena Sewell from the Frederick Douglass Museum at Highland Beach
  • Jack Nelson, co -author of Highland Beach on the Chesapeake Bay: America’s First African-American Incorporated Town
  • Dr. Kathy Franz-co-curator of the American Enterprise Exhibit at the Smithsonian
  • Charles Adams III- CEO of the Hoppy Adams foundation
  • Andrew Kahrl-author of The Land Was Ours, How Black Beaches Became White Wealth in the Coastal South
  • Vince Leggett- Blacks of the Chesapeake Foundation (with help from Janice Hayes Williams and Dr. Larry Blum.)

Have a listen!

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