Archival photographs are a message from the past. The 3009 S Ocean Blvd. Archive is a collection of photographs of, in, and around 3009 S Ocean Blvd. and the greater Atlantic Beach area from my family and town historians, mixed in with my own personal digital and film photography. These photographs brought into the present allow us to recall, rearticulate, manage and make visible how we have been portrayed and how we have documented ourselves throughout the years. Family photographs are included as well to have my own family history alongside the history of the town of Atlantic Beach. The importance of this project can’t be understated, because it is my family history, along with others’ histories.
Opening and creating an archive centered around one of the few Black owned oceanfront towns in the United States, I want to be able to tell the story of Atlantic Beach before it is gone forever or looks completely different. In the past decade, the town has “lost nearly half its population” and “the town shrunk from 334 people to just 195.” All while neighboring North Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach, and Conway all increased in population. On top of the declining population, many developers, usually white men, often come into Atlantic Beach looking to buy out all the property and build up large scale hotels, condominiums, etc. My family would spend every summer in the town with many other members of my family and family friends and it would always be a good time for a week or two. This property, and the beach itself in many ways has been passed down from generation to generation in hopes that the next generation would keep everything going, and the time has almost come for me to step up and become that next person to take care of the house. This archive is here to honor all of my ancestors of the past, distant and close, and to speak to being black in the present.
Visit the archive HERE!