The City of Annapolis finalized in February the acquisition of the one-time home of educator and former Coppin State University President Dr. Parlett Moore. The Moore property is adjacent to Elktonia-Carr’s Beach Park, which the City purchased in 2022. Together, the two properties will become the Elktonia-Carr’s Beach Heritage Park, managed by the City of Annapolis Department of Recreation and Parks.

carr's beach
The water view from the newly acquired property. Photo courtesy of the City of Annapolis

Elktonia, Sparrow’s, and Carr’s Beaches, located off Edgewood Road in Annapolis, were Chesapeake Bay destinations where Black families spent summer days and musical nights from the 1930s to the 1960s. During the era of Jim Crow segregation, Black Americans were historically prohibited from visiting popular beaches along the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic seashore. In response, Black Americans created their own spaces where they could congregate and recreate safely by the water. 

The location will also become the headquarters for Blacks of the Chesapeake, a nonprofit organization that documents and celebrates the history of African Americans who worked (and continue to work) in the maritime and seafood processing industries in the Chesapeake Bay region. 

“Today represents another historic milestone of achievement for the 20-year Odyssey to preserve the last vestiges of African American land situated directly on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. The historic locations of the Carr’s, Sparrow’s, Elktonia Beaches, and now the Parlett Moore family cottage, represent the ‘Black Coast’ of the Bay,” said Vince Leggett, executive director of Blacks of the Chesapeake. “Working with Mayor Buckley, the director of recreation and parks, and public/private partners, our vision is to open a state-of-the-art educational, environmental, and cultural heritage center designed to train and motivate the next generation of African American land conservation and heritage preservation champions.”

The City’s acquisition was made possible through City funding as well as funding from Anne Arundel County, The Conservation Fund, Blacks of the Chesapeake, Chesapeake Conservancy, Maryland Heritage Area Authority, and hundreds of private donors, including Merrill Family Foundation, France-Merrick Foundation, William L. and Victorine Q. Adams Foundation, Inc., and The Dovana Foundation.