Maryland committed over $4.8 million to the purchase of a waterfront property in Annapolis where a public park is planned, the governor’s office announced Monday. The site is near what were once Carr’s Beach and Sparrow’s Beach, resorts that served Black residents who were barred from other beaches in the D.C. area.
Known as “The Beach,” Carr’s Beach hosted Black performers in the ’40s, ‘50s and ‘60s including Billie Holiday, James Brown, Fats Domino and Little Richard, as News4 previously reported.
From the ‘20s to ’60s, Carr's was one of the few beaches in the area where African Americans could swim freely and without fear of discrimination.
A new park near the site will pay tribute to the beach's history, Gov. Larry Hogan said.
“As a major music venue and beloved gathering place for generations of Black Marylanders, Carr’s Beach left an incredible legacy that we will now be able to preserve for posterity,” he said in a statement.
Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford said his own mother went to the beach in the ‘40s.
The state Department of Natural Resources committed $3.68 million to the park, supplementing $1.2 million in Local Parks and Playgrounds Infrastructure funding, $2 million in congressionally directed funds via Sen. Ben Cardin and funds from the City of Annapolis and Anne Anne Arundel County, the governor's office said.
Work to buy the property is underway. The five-acre park would include public water access and walking paths.