"Line in the Sand" offers a look at historic Black beaches of the New Jersey Shore

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Thursday, March 7, 2024
"Line in the Sand" offers a look at historic Black NJ Shore beaches
Years ago, beaches throughout the nation and at the Jersey Shore were racially segregated.

Cape May, New Jersey -- "Line in the Sand" is a new exhibit at Cape May's Carroll Gallery that showcases historic scenes of racially segregated beaches in the early 20th century.

The exhibition spotlights two beaches during the 1930s through 1960s: Grant Street Beach in Cape May and Chicken Bone Beach in Atlantic City.

Featured artist Chenelle René took inspiration from her mother and grandmother to paint scenes of Grant Street Beach, the beach that generations of her family frequently visited growing up.

Her paintings are displayed along with archival photos of New Jersey's historically Black beaches.

"I wanted to capture everyday joy at the beach. All the moments that everyone that goes to the beach can relate to. When people come to the exhibit, I want them to see themselves," René said.

"Line in the Sand: Segregated Beaches in Cape May and Atlantic City" will be on view at the Carroll Gallery on the Emlen-Physick historic estate until March 26.