Highland Beach founded as summer utopia for African American families

Poet Langston Hughes, singer Paul Robeson and activist W.E.B. Du Bois are among an elite group of African Americans who made Highland Beach, Maryland their summer home.

The authentic beach community beyond Annapolis is believed to be the first African-American resort community in the U.S.

Old images depict what was, in essence, a utopia that left Jim Crow on the other side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

“I used to look at the bridge and say, ‘How come we don’t go across the bridge?’ and my father didn’t really want to say why,” said Eric Brewington, a Highland Beach resident. “This was a place where black people could come be among ourselves, among friends, and not have any fears or anxiety of being out or swimming in the water. It was a good thing.”

Brewington moved to the…

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