Story Project

Elktonia Beach Heritage Park, Vince Leggett

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Vincent Omar Leggett has been an ally to Annapolis and Anne Arundel County for nearly half of his lifetime. He is the founder and president of the Blacks of the Chesapeake Foundation (BOCF), which documents, promotes, and educates on the significant contributions of African Americans to the bay’s maritime industries and culture. In 2000, the Library of Congress designated BOCF as a Local Legacy Project, and in 2003, Maryland Governor Glendening commissioned Vince an honorary Admiral of the Chesapeake. As a child Vince had come to Carr’s, Sparrows and Elktonia Beaches and now he is fighting to preserve a that heritage by developing the Elktonia Heritage Park.

From the 1940s to the mid-70s, during the oppressive era of Jim Crow laws and forced racial segregation, black artists, musicians, entertainers, comedians, and radio personalities responded by creating their own recreational attractions and performance venues. Carr’s Beach was one of those prominent attractions that featured the likes of Count Basie, Ray Charles, Sarah Vaughan, Wilson Pickett, and even one of the music industry’s most sampled artist in the world, “Mr. Good Foot” himself, the “Godfather of Soul”, James Brown who performed in 1965, drawing 11,000 fans to Carr’s Beach. This is Vince’s story of the preservation of Elktonia Beach as a city park will provide all residents and visitors to the City of Annapolis with direct access to the Chesapeake Bay and to the rich heritage of African Americans who sought recreation, leisure, and entertainment in this historic place.