XVII-"I Was a Negro in the South for 30 Days" - Ray Sprigle - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

XVII-"I Was a Negro in the South for 30 Days" - Ray Sprigle - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Atlantic Ocean for White Folks Only

by: Ray Sprigle | publication date: August 27, 1948 | Publication: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | pages: 1

 For three hot and dusty weeks and 3,000 hot and dusty miles I’ve been looking forward to Brunswick and Savannah; the broad white beaches of the Georgia coast and a couple days of ocean swimming. All right - here are Savannah and Brunswick. Here are the broad white beaches. Here is the wide blue Atlantic Ocean. But there’ll be no sea bathing for me. I’ve dragged those swim trunks all these miles for nothing. And why? Because this is a strictly Jim Crow ocean and I’m black. Along all the hundred miles of Georgia’s coast line with its scores of beautiful island and shore beaches, there’s not a single foot where a Negro can stick a toe in salt water. North and south, South Carolina and Florida have public and private beaches reserved for us black people. Not Georgia. Georgia is going to keep her share of the Atlantic pure and undefiled - and lily white.  

Sprigle finds that Jim Crow laws also apply to swimming in the ocean, and that not all states provide access for African Americans to their coastlines.

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