African American Culture

Atlantic City has long been a tourist hub and beach town for travelers, both black and white for more than a century. The city has a long line of African American history dating back to around 1854 when the cites population started to grow. The seaside destination quickly became popular for African Americans relocating in search of better-paying jobs. Several black-owned-and-operated businesses started to operate at this time and paved a way for the future.

Kelsey’s Restaurant 

One of the top restaurants in the city the renowned Kelsey’s is located in the heart of Atlantic City. This black-owned restaurant has been featured on the Food Network’s T.V show "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives." Owners Kelsey and Kimberly Jackson turned their fantasy into reality. All guests feel like they are right at home when they dine at Kelsey's with great soul food and music. 

African-American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey

Located in the Noyes Art Garage of Stockton University the African-American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey teaches attendees African Americans history and culture in Atlantic City. Visitors can explore the 2,000 square foot museum full of drawings, books, and other fascinating artifacts. 

The Civil Rights Garden

Experience Atlantic City's beautiful Civil Rights Garden located just one block off the Boardwalk on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The garden represents the history and struggles of African-Americans, it features a winding narrow brick path surrounded by black granite columns. Each column is engraved with quotes by African-Americans, such as Fannie Lou Hamer’s proclamation, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.” The center column is topped with an upraised, open hand which is a symbol of the right to vote. The main feature is a cast bronze bell that hovers over a reflection pool. The fountain is lined with a black granite ring inscribed with quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech. The bell rings every day at noon, recalling the speech’s repeated refrain, “Let freedom ring.”


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