Know Your History: Inkwell Beach and Black Surfers


Yes we do exist, black surfers that is.  I myself definitely still considered a beginner, but ya boy can catch a couple of waves, was always more of a boogie boarder tho.  I had to make sure I featured the history of Inkwell Beach, a popular African American Beach back in the days of segregation.  I also wanted to make sure to recognize other (prolly way more experienced than myself) Black surfers.

The beach near this site between Bay and Bicknell Streets, known by some as the Ink Well, was an important gathering place for African-Americans long after racial restrictions on public beaches were abandoned in 1927.  “African-American groups from Santa Monica, Venice and Los Angeles, as early as the 1920s to the end of the Jim Crow era in the 1950s, preferred to enjoy the sun and surf here because they encountered less racial harassment than at other Southland beaches.  “In the 1940s, Nick Gabaldon, a Santa MonicaHigh School student and the first documented black surfer, taught himself how to surf here.’

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Inkwell Beach

Inkwell Beach Memorial 

SoCal Black Suffer Association

International Black Surfers


3 thoughts on “Know Your History: Inkwell Beach and Black Surfers

  1. History is best qualified to reward our research. I’m teaching my children about our hidden African-American history in the cities of Santa Monica (with Inkwell) and Manhattan Beach (with Bruce’s Beach). There’s a combination of pride and pain in learning the history of Inkwell and Bruce’s Beach.

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