Chicken Bone Beach (Images of America)
During the Jim Crow era, a group of Atlantic City hotel owners and politicians agreed to designate Missouri Avenue Beach, later nicknamed Chicken Bone Beach, as sandy space where thousands of African American vacationers could enjoy the pleasures of family, friends, and summer fun annually. From the early 1900s to the mid-1960s, this space along the shoreline was occupied by local families and African American vacationers. Back then, Atlantic City was considered "America's premiere resort." But off the Boardwalk between Mississippi and Missouri Avenues was where Blacks shared fond memories. The Northside, where local Black families lived, was where everyone from the East Coast and Midwest came to experience rhythm and blues and jazz at Club Harlem. Nearly every major Black artist and musician toured the Kentucky Avenue scene, and some even sunbathed on the beach. While the city remains an American cultural landscape, Chicken Bone Beach is a nearly forgotten landmark in the annals of outdoor leisure and recreation history.