Introduction: February is Black History Month, an annual time to celebrate the achievements, and a time for recognized the central role, of African Americans in U.S. history.

During the month of February, What’s Up Newp is using our platform to highlight and recognize the achievements by local African Americans.

Keith Stokes, Vice President of the 1696 Heritage Group, with a look back at recreational and entertainment activities. This story originally was published on February 12, 2020.

Black History Month Newport: A time to play

Text and photos provided by Keith Stokes

While Newport is internationally recognized for its Gilded Age mansions, historic landscapes, music festivals and sailing regattas, few would know that Newport during the Gilded Age summers would also be host to many African heritage families taking part in the many recreational and entertainment activities the City by the Sea had to offer. Tennis, fishing, biking, picnics along Cliff Walk and a day at Easton’s Beach were all popular activities enjoyed by families of color. 

The images representing the people, places and events during Newport’s Gilded Age are courtesy of the Stokes Family Collections.