Museum celebrates rich history of American Beach


It was a tour providing the group with good food and excellent information.

The American Beach Museum opened, welcoming a busload of recent visitors to enjoy and experience the rich beauty and history of Amelia Island.

The museum also offers a variety of venues to accommodate weddings, reunions, concerts, theater parties, and an African market.

The group found its way forward with a day trip via Robbins Charter Coach, sponsored by the Women’s Day Committee of First (A.M.E.) Church, the Rev. Gillard S. Glover, pastor.

Coordinator Sonia White conceived the notion of having a tour, and with the help of chair Nellie Davis and co-chair Virene Garrett, they brought the Women’s Day event to reality.

The timeline contained a video, lunch and the tour, conveying that the museum, constructed in 2010, celebrates the preservation of the historic American Beach, “once known as the mecca for African Americans to enjoy sand, ocean, and sun…” said curator Yuwnus Asami.

The Lewis legacy

Tour guide Eve Jones also chronicled the journey.

Black millionaire A.L. Lewis signed a deed purchasing American Beach on Jan. 31, 1935, so African-Americans could vacation during the era of Jim Crow and at the height of the Great Depression.

Lewis was the president of the Afro-American Insurance Company, Florida’s only insurer during its onset in 1901.

Jan. 1, 1935, marked Lewis’ granddaughter’s birthday.

Former opera singer MaVynee Oslun Betsch passed away Sept. 5, 2005, but prior to this she was an environmentalist, preserving the legacy of the beach.

Speaking in a video, referring to developers who jeopardize the beach’s integrity, Betsch said, “They say they come here for the beauty of the natural world of Florida, then they spend the next 10 years changing it to where they just left.”

Diverse population

American Beach takes in roughly 60 permanent residents – rich and famous Blacks, while others are Black professionals. Still others are the Black heirs to the beachfronts acquired during slavery – in addition to 5 to 10 percent White, and not considering the snowbirds.

White, while reserving the tour, considered the needs and mobility of the older adults and those with disabilities, so that everyone could enjoy themselves.

She, however, is unsympathetic to those who’d rather rest on their laurels of having fancy homes and cars rather than completing the journey – doing the heavy lifting of preserving our legacy – especially in these troubled times during this presidential administration.

Davis added that the trip was not hard to arrange, and had they started earlier, they probably would have filled two buses rather than one. She also said that everyone enjoyed themselves. The food was good, as well as the tours, and the information was excellent.

Academy open to VPK through first grade

Another choice awaits your child for quality education at the Academy of Excellence, retained by the First (AME) Church of Palm Coast.

It is a private – premiere – educational opportunity, starting this year with VPK through the first grade, and growing each year through the 12th grade.

It is a unique, creative learning experience that your child will have in a small, safe, and nurturing educational environment.

It is a call to register for the VPK through the first grade and for the scholarship-sponsored tuition, available to the other siblings as well.

The scholarship-sponsored tuition will include transportation in Flagler County.

Teacher continuity (looping) has been implemented, where the student stays with the same teacher for multiple years, which builds trust, a sense of community, and provides differentiated learning.

Each student’s education is guided by his or her individualized Learning Plan.

The small, personalized campus fosters strong, interpersonal relationships with students, as well as their families.

Field trips, daily music instruction, a computer lab, and in-class computer stations with laptop computers are available to all students.

Extracurricular activities of a computer club, chess club, an Ambassadors club are available, along with sessions specializing in art, chorus, and cheerleading.

Extended school hours enable the students to participate in extracurricular activities.

Free meals are provided for breakfast, lunch and a daily snack.

The Academy of Excellence, at 95 Old Kings Road North, Palm Coast, can be reached at 386-447-9692.

Flagler NAACP set for April 27

The Flagler County NAACP will embrace a rich tradition, hosting a Freedom Fund Banquet, April 27, 5 to 10 p.m., at the African American Cultural Society, 4422 U.S. 1 North, Palm Coast.

The Freedom Fund initiative achieves the strategic focus of fighting modern-day slavery.

The banquet will be replete with a keynote speaker, live band, cash bar, and dinner.

Former Florida House Representative Sean Shaw will be the keynote speaker. Attorney Shaw was the Democratic nominee for the 2018 Florida Attorney General election.

The ticket price is $75 per person.

To add your name to the waiting list for tickets, call Chair Marian Howell at 386-283-4311; Blanche Valentine, 386-302-3638, or the NAACP office, 386-446-7822.

First Spring Tee coming in May

The Men of the AACS (African-American Cultural Society) are in full swing for their First Spring Tee, backed by live entertainment and sensationally performed by Dante’s CCD Band.

The doors will open at 1:30 p.m. May 18, and will remain open until 6 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.

The ticket price is $30.

That’s happening at the African American Cultural Society, 4422 North U.S. 1 North, near Whiteview Parkway, Palm Coast.

There’s a caveat for GPS users to tag their device to pinpoint “Bunnell, Florida.”

The proceeds will support the AACS center and its cultural programs.

Tickets can be purchased online at

In addition, tickets can be purchased from Chairman Alton Dempsey at 386-446-4430; or members Berkeley Chandler, 386-793-4958; John Reid, 386-447-6098; Charles McCray, 386-931-9117, or Johnie Spann, 386-453-5842.

As always, remember our prayers for the sick, afflicted, the prodigal son, or daughter, and the bereaved.



Birthday wishes to my husband, Louis P. McCarthy, April 21; Marsha Rode, April 22; Kevin Senior, April 23; and Carolyn Able, April 24.


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