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Living While Black: When 'Black Girl Beach Day' Goes Wrong

Another day, another living while Black moment. What happens when over 300 women of color, mostly Black women, decide to get together for a beach day? A gathering of Black girl magic called Black Girl Beach Day, of course! This event was born from the beautiful minds of Christina Bright and Snap Lancaster. Both of these Black women used the power of their influential social media followings to saturate the beach with color for a day that’s centered on inclusivity, solidarity and sisterhood. On August 27, 2018, Christina (Chris) and Snap welcomed over 300 women of color to Belmar, New Jersey for what was supposed to be a lovely day of fellowship. However, where two or more people of color are gathered, the police will gather too. Why? Because we’re living while Black in 2018 and that’s just how America works. Honestly, it’s the way it’s always worked. Within five minutes of arriving on the beach in Belmar, Chris and many of her Black Girl Beach Day guests claim were approached by officers who questioned their presence and right to play music and frolic on the beach in peace. To have Black Girl Beach Day co-founder, Chris tell it, “It’s manufactured fear. They see us in groups and they’re afraid of us.” She continues, “Why are rules only being applied to certain groups of people, but not to everyone? It felt very unfair. It felt like a slap in the face.” The entire incident feels like a slap in the face not only to Black Girl Beach Day attendees, but to black girls everywhere who want nothing more than be regarded as human beings and have the right to be free, you know, in the land of the free? Check out Chris and Snap’s story in the video above to hear and see the details of what happened when you go beaching while black. ESSENCE reached out to Belmar Police and and we haven’t received a response yet. This story has been updated to include Belmar’s official statement: