The “Black Pearl” is the historic Atlantic Beach Township which is north of Myrtle Beach. Although Atlantic Beach did not receive incorporation from the state of South Carolina until 1966, Gullah/Geechees owned the land on the Atlantic Ocean prior to that and started to use it as a gathering place in 1934. They opened motels, restaurants, and night clubs and by 1936 pleasure boats were anchoring at the township where Black folks could come and enjoy themselves.
Just as with many other historic Gullah/Geechee beach areas such as Seabreeze, NC and Remley’s Point & Mosquito Beach in SC and American Beach, FL, integregation caused Atlantic Beach to suffer economically. The Atlantic Beach Bike Fest which is now called the “Black Pearl Cultural Heritage and Bike Festival” is part of what is known as “Black Bike Week” to most. This celebration is the main economic driver for the entire town. The celebration which grew from 3 men coming together to form a motorcycle club and then encouraging others to come and celebrate with them on the coast has gone from a mere 250 people to 25,000 people that come to the Black Pearl to enjoy the waters and entertainment. However, Myrtle Beach and even the governor and others across the state of South Carolina have done a great deal to impede and to attempt to end this annual all Black Memorial Day weekend celebration. “Black Beach/White Beach”documents all of this:
If you are unable to make it to the Gullah/Geechee Nation to see one of the screenings, but you want to join us in assisting with raising the funds to complete the film and to keep up with the progress as the film continues its journey, please go to: