1) Santa Monica City Manager Lamont Ewell speaks during a commemorative plaque dedication on Thursday, February 7, 2008 - unveiling of a monument marking a section of beach near Bay Street that was once referred to as the "Ink Well" 5) Troopers Lennister K. Williams, 70, and James Cooper, 85, both veteran Buffalo Soldiers, reminisce during the ceremony on Thursday. 6) Historian Alison Rose Jefferson, who wrote the 'Ink Well,' speaks during the ceremony. The plaque reads:
“The Ink Well”
A Place of Celebration and Pain
The beach near this site between Bay and Bicknell Streets, known by some as the Ink Well, was an important gathering place for African-Americans long after racial restrictions on public beaches were abandoned in 1927.
“African-American groups from Santa Monica, Venice and Los Angeles, as early as the 1920s to the end of the Jim Crow era in the 1950s, preferred to enjoy the sun and surf here because they encountered less racial harassment than at other Southland beaches.
“In the 1940s, Nick Gabaldon, a Santa Monica High School student and the first documented black surfer, taught himself how to surf here.'