Atlantic Beach, SC is America’s only black oceanfront incorporated town on the east coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Residents have sustained themselves since the town’s inception by Mr. George W. Tyson. In 1934, Tyson purchased 47 acres along the 29th Avenue South and 30th Avenue South, including the property along the oceanfront. He bought 49 additional acres from Ms Viola Bell in 1949, then, according to oral history, suffered financial hardship. Exhibiting Gullah Geechee values of resilience, self-sufficiency, and tenacity, Tyson created the Atlantic Beach Company, a group of investors including many of the most prominent black men in the surrounding North Carolina and South Carolina communities. Because of his vision, the black oceanfront community was saved and incorporated into a town in 1966.
The Atlantic Beach Gullah Geechee Cultural and Nature Festival 2023 will celebrate our ancestors’ journey from the past to the present and into the future. This year is just a small phase of our history.