Save Asbury’s Waterfront Community Voices – Rev. Gil Caldwell

Development of a members-only beach/pool club on Asbury Park’s North Beach is an issue of social justice, potentially reestablishing what founder Bradley envisioned – a resort for the wealthy, in which he enforced segregation.  Bradley is considered to have set the scene for continuing inequity through decades.

Gil Caldwell is a national and Asbury Park icon working tirelessly throughout his lifetime as a champion of social justice.

“Asbury Park In 2019, a city that boasts of its racial, ethnic, cultural, and economic diversity, is on the verge of expanding its already evident economic segregation, by building beachfront, private pool clubs?” – Gil Caldwell

#boardwalkandbeachesforall

PLEASE ATTEND THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING FEB 13th. AP High School Auditorium.  Learn about development of the North Beach and share your thoughts in the public comment period.

Say it isn’t so!

Reverend Gil Caldwell

“At a time when our President flaunts his ownership of expensive Hotels and Golf Courses, Asbury Park continues to demonstrate that; “Those who have the Gold, Rule”? I believe that Asbury Park and iStar are better than that…I dare Asbury Park to be different! I believe we are, and we can be.” 

“Kay Harris in her letter writes of being excluded on the beachfront because of her race in the 1950’s. I remember my own New Jersey experience in the 1950’s. I was a student at North Carolina A & T College/Greensboro in the 1950’s. I had a part time job and walked 4 miles each day, walking back and forth to my college. Often I would walk by the Woolworth’s Store, wishing that I could sit at the counter to get a coke and a hot dog. But I knew that I would not be served because of my race. (In 1960, that store was the site of sit-ins by students from my college, that helped to integrate white only restaurants and lunch counters). My preacher father and my secretary mother did their best to contribute to the college educations of their four children. But, that was not enough.

My college in an effort to stay afloat economically, had a tradition of a staff person from the financial office coming to classrooms to read the list of students in arrears in their tuition payment. Students whose names were read were expected to get up from their seats and leave the classroom. The day my name was read, I left class with tears in my eyes and visited a Pawn Shop for the first time. One of my Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity brothers knew of my financial plight and invited me to go with him to work in Atlantic City during the summer. I was excited. My tuition needs would be met, and I would experience for the first time, northern racial integration.

Much to my surprise, the hotels in which I worked, and the restaurants where I washed dishes, pots and pans, would not accept blacks as customers. Hotels in which I could not sleep as a guest, and restaurants where I could not sit at a table and eat as a customer because of my race. In Atlantic City, New Jersey, “Up North”!

Fast forward. Asbury Park In 2019, a city that boasts of its racial, ethnic, cultural, and economic diversity, is on the verge of expanding its already evident economic segregation, by building beachfront, private
pool clubs? “Say it isn’t so!” At a time when our President flaunts his ownership of expensive Hotels and Golf Courses, Asbury Park continues to demonstrate that; “Those who have the Gold, Rule”? I believe that Asbury Park and iStar are better than that.

A win/win resolution to this debate would demonstrate that democracy in Asbury Park is not just talk, it is walk! Let us give Historians the opportunity to be able to write in the future, that, “In 2019, a corporate entity, iStar, and Asbury Park, initiated a plan/resolution that remembered the negative history of racial segregation in Asbury Park, by combating private sponsored economic segregation. They realized that if American capitalism did not break the back of economic segregation, the unknowing public would look toward the possibilities of socialism.” I dare Asbury Park to be different! I believe we are, and we can be.”

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