The author and Atlantic City native reminisces about her adolescent life while growing up in 'The Other Atlantic City.'
ATLANTIC CITY — Missouri Avenue beach wasn't usually called "Chicken Bone Beach" when I was growing up here.
Atlantic City, like many other U.S. cities, once had segregated beaches, but they didn't start out that way. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Blacks and whites lived side-by-side, worked side-by-side and played side-by-side.
As the city's black population increased, however, hoteliers gradually pushed black beach-goers from in front of their grand establishments down to Missouri Avenue beach on the other side of the Million Dollar Pier. This was quite possibly to appease their visitors from the Jim Crow South.
The most popular story about how Missouri Avenue beach became fondly known as "Chicken Bone Beach" goes something like this: Blacks would come to spend a day at the beach with baskets of fried chicken and when they were finished eating, they would bury the chicken bones in the sand.
Today, you can find local blacks, as well as visiting blacks, on every beach in the city. Whenever and wherever locals congregate, though, you are bound to hear plenty of reminiscing about Missouri Avenue beach:
"Man, we used to get there early and stay until the sun went down."
"Girl, those were the days. We'd slather on that baby oil and iodine and get the best tans."
"Everybody shared food. You didn't have to worry about eatin'. We'd play cards, dominoes, play our bongos all day long in the 60s."
"There'd be wall-to-wall niggahs, man, towels, umbrellas and blankets touchin'. You couldn't see an inch of sand."
"I hated when the boys snuck up on us and threw us in the water, kickin' and screamin' and messin' up my hair."
"I couldn't wait for a day off so I could hang out at Missouri Avenue, especially Sundays."
Kelsey and Kim Jackson, with help from fellow local Allen Thomas, have been drawing crowds to Atlantic City’s Kentucky Avenue with jazz, soul and R&B.
Most students attending PAS have come from New Jersey Avenue School, one of the oldest in the city, which needed far too many repairs and had become a dark and dismal place for children and teachers alike.
What feels good to me this year is all the music that’s happening for our children and community.
A handy 2012 guide with information on Atlantic County and Cape May County beaches, including beach tag fees, where you can fish, surf, bring your dog, go kayaking, play volleyball and more.
“As a matter of fact, before I moved to New York, I saw Coltrane at his mother’s house one day and was talking to him about how I was thinking about going to New York and he wished me luck.”
Last Thursday, April 5, Henrietta Shelton and the Chicken Bone Beach Foundation opened their spring jazz series at Top of the Trop in the Tropicana Casino. With a room full of supporters, Mayor Lorenzo Langford was on deck to present Henrietta with a proclamation from the City of Atlantic City for service to the community by way of preserving family values, developing community engagement and promoting an appreciation of America’s classical music — jazz.
Bell's Critical Race Theory, which suggests that the U.S. legal system, among other institutions in our country, is inherently biased against non-whites, made him a controversial figure in many circles.
If you want your children to continue being physically active and positively occupied once the school year begins, Back to School night is a must.
It’s that time of year when one can find endless reunions taking place in our community; that is, the African-American community.
My fondest Kentucky Avenue memory is gaping in awe at the mere size of Muhammad Ali as he lifted me into the air with one huge hand.
As the late Atlantic City historian and former Club Harlem house band drummer Sid Trusty once said, "Every night was our party. And we invited the world." The party may be starting up again soon.
So often the nostalgia associated with Atlantic City’s past is spoken of with a special brand of sincerity — particularly a section of Kentucky Avenue between Arctic and Atlantic avenues, where the jazz clubs once ruled the day (and nights)...
THE ADDRESS WAS 32 North Kentucky Avenue, and it was a place where the music -- and the night -- never died. If the entire block, including the likes of Grace's Little Belmont and the Wonder Garden b...
It’s been 10 years since Henrietta Shelton first organized the Chicken Bone Beach free concert series on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. And despite a decade of bringing great jazz groups to the resort, the biggest testament to the series’ success may come on Thursday, Aug. 27, when New York’s Finest Jazz Ensemble (made up of N.Y.P.D officers, thus New York’s finest) takes the stage.
Since 2000, Atlantic City native Henrietta Wallace Shelton has been keeping the spirit of Chicken Bone Beach alive with annual free jazz series, workshops and special concerts. The term "Chicken Bone...
Sedaka and the Globetrotters