“What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
– Micah 6:8
The Address: 5466 Gregg Street
The Story: This is not a story about high-falutin Black folks who earned enough money and privilege to vacation on exclusive fancy beaches. This is not a story about segregation or what access Black folks were denied. This is not a story about fun in the sun.
It’s a story about faith. About a deeply faithful man named Abraham Lincoln Lewis. A man with an elementary school education. A “race man”, as his granddaughter, the illustrious Dr. Johnetta Betsch Cole called him. A man who was centered in his Blackness. A man who was committed to the ongoing struggle of justice for Black folks.
That commitment not only led him to become Florida’s first Black millionaire, but it led him to found and establish American Beach on Amelia Island as a safe haven and place of respite for Black families.
Today we tell the story of A.L. Lewis and his dream for “relaxation and recreation without humiliation”. It’s a story that includes the sorrow of the enslaved people who were dumped onto the white sand shores of this beach, discarded as contraband and cargo. And it’s a story of the Black families who have claimed this space as theirs for generations, triumphantly building Black wealth and Black love.