Atlantic Beach, the Black Pearl

The South Carolina African American Heritage Foundation (SCAAHF) will present the project “Black Pearl Homecoming Reunion” celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Town of Atlantic Beach, SC. South Carolina Humanities supported this project with a Major Grant in September 2016.

The SCAAHF, in partnership with the Town of Atlantic Beach, will offer a project to promote knowledge, understanding and a deeper appreciation of the significant social, economic and cultural contributions of the Town of Atlantic Beach, SC by presenting three interactive public lecture/demonstrations that highlight the history and cultural legacy of the “Black Pearl”, aka Atlantic Beach.  The project will provide a retrospective of Atlantic Beach where the public will be engaged by hearing, seeing and actively participating in the lecture/demonstration. These events will take place in Atlantic Beach between November 2016 and June 2017.  The first event was held on Saturday, November 26, 2016 at 4:00 pm and featured Dr. Larry Watson and Wideman-Davis Dance; the second event was held on Sunday, February 26, 2017 and featured Dr. Larry Watson and Gail Glover Faust.

The third and final event is scheduled for Saturday, May 6, 2017 at the Town of Atlantic Beach Community Center (1010 32nd Avenue, Atlantic Beach, SC 29582) from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. It will be a lunch and learn. During this family-friendly afternoon program participants can learn about the historical and cultural legacy of the Black Pearl and even actively participate in social dance. The presenters are humanities scholar, Dr. Larry Watson, PhD. and Gail Glover Faust. Dr. Watson earned his doctorate in history from the University of South Carolina with a specialty in African American, Colonial American, Civil War and Reconstruction History and Early American Literature.  Formerly associate professor and coordinator of history at South Carolina State University, he is presently serving as project historian for Orangeburg School District Five, Williamsburg County School District and Charleston County Public Schools Teaching American History Program. Gail Glover Faust is an author, dancer, teacher, and choreographer who is listed on the South Carolina Arts Commission’s approved artist roster. She  will explore the meaning of dance in African American life and will demonstrate African American social dances, such as the shag, that were popular during Atlantic Beach’s heyday.

The South Carolina African American Heritage Foundation supports the efforts of the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission identify and preserve historic sites, culture and lifeways of African Americans in South Carolina.  For more information contact executive director Jannie Harriot at 843-332-3589 or

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 22-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.

Image: Courtesy of South Carolina Library, University of South Carolina, and the Town of Atlantic Beach