The Original Ebony Beach Club Building at 1811 Ocean Ave. Santa Monica, CA 1957
Photo Credit: Santa Monica History Museum Collection, Gilmore Family Collection
The New California Dream.
The name “Ebony Beach Club” was chosen as a homage to the black beach club founded in 1957 by the late Silas White in Santa Monica, CA. With over 2000 members signed up & excited for the club’s official opening, it was shut down by the city of Santa Monica who claimed eminent domain over the property that he had occupied. They claimed to have needed the building for “civic parking”. Ebony Beach Club never had a full opportunity to grow & stifled the potential for a more inclusive and colorful beach environment today. What we’ve created today aims to breathe new life into the vision of the late Silas White.
We believe that time spent at the beach is a catalyst for the greatness instilled within all of us. To share the ocean with others is a blessing, and we aim to uplift each other for the greatness that we all embody both in & out of the water. Sending the message to the next generation of black & brown children that the ocean is a place where they can free their spirit and connect with nature is the ultimate goal of Ebony Beach Club. A community focused on welcoming the next generation to access a space that our ancestors were long denied.
Learn more about the original Ebony Beach Club and the earlier African American beach culture by reading the book Living the California Dream: African American Leisure Sites during the Jim Crow Era and the Belmar History + Art essay, “Reconstruction and Reclamation: The Erased African American Experience in Santa Monica’s History” by Alison Rose Jefferson.