Community members gathered on Thursday, February 7, to celebrate the unveiling by the City of Santa Monica of a monument marking a section of beach near Bay Street that was once referred to as the “Ink Well” – a restricted area of the beach available for African-Americans. Racial restrictions were eliminated on California’s beaches in 1927, but many African-Americans from Santa Monica and Venice felt more comfortable on this stretch of beach long after that time. Nicolas Gabaldon, a 1940s graduate of Santa Monica High School and the first documented African-American surfer, taught himself to surf there. The plaque is engraved with the words: “The Ink Well: A Place of Celebration and Pain,” and gives a brief history.
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