News & Features » News

American Beach head


A senior vice president of NationsBank Florida is working to upgrade American Beach while protecting it from high-density encroachment, according to the New York Times. Tony T. Brown bought a small lot on the island near Jacksonville last November, and now he hopes the small resort community, established in the 1930s by African-Americans barred from whites-only beaches, will accept the master plan he is developing.

The 78-acre enclave is the partial subject and name of a book by Russ Rymer, which contrasts American Beach with Eatonville and Celebration. The beach is still underdeveloped, by the standards of Amelia Island, where it is located. Property values are a tiny fraction of those on the white part of the island. As with Parramore and west Winter Park, residents are concerned that redevelopment will price the land out of reach of the locals, and that the area will lose its distinctive ethnic character as folks like Brown reap millions. Nassau County officials have been encouraging to Brown.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.