The History of Lincoln Beach


The History of Lincoln Beach


Moving Image


History of Lincoln Beach in New Orleans East.


Describes history of Lincoln Beach, the racial history behind it, and what it looks like 54 years after its closing.


Maiya Muhammad


My Nola My Story via YouTube


Mass Communications Department at Xavier University of Louisiana.


December 5, 2019


My Nola, My Story


My Nola, My Story 2019 Exhibit




Premiere Pro, Video



A Digital Humanities project led by Xavier University of Louisiana's Mass Communication department students, led by Dr. Shearon Roberts.

Original Format


New Orleans, Louisiana, one of America’s greatest cities is known for its rich diverse culture, food, music, and annual celebrations such as Mardi Gras and the Essence Festival. Millions of people visit New Orleans every year to participate in the city’s festivities. This great city has a deep history that is shared with millions around the world, however there are many subjects that are hidden from visitors and natives alike that mask the bittersweet history that lies at the heart of this amazing city.
Lincoln Beach, an area on the Lakefront in New Orleans East, is one of the many unique stories of the city that tends to be forgotten about.
Lincoln Beach served as a beach and amusement park from 1939 to 1965. It was created for African American residents of New Orleans during the Jim-Crow era to keep Blacks out of its sister location, Pontchartrain Beach. Unlike Pontchartrain beach, which was directly in the city closer to black neighborhoods, Lincoln Beach was located 14 miles from the center of the city and inaccessible to public transportation. The beach was separated from Hayne Boulevard by railroad tracks, which required visitors to dodge oncoming trains to make it safely onto the beach. Originally Lincoln beach was not an ideal place for swimming and recreation. It was declared unsafe because of all the raw sewage that was being emptied in the waters surrounding the beach. The city’s sanitations board confirmed these conditions were unsanitary and called for immediate closure of the area.
By 1951 the potential closing of Lincoln Beach caused an uproar in the community, which let to the Mayor and the levee board to announce a $500,000 plan to refurbish the area and make it similar to Pontchartrain beach. Initiatives were taken such as expanding the shore line, adding more swimming pools, amusement attractions, restaurants and building a completely new bath house. On May 8th, 1954, Lincoln Beach was finally complete and despite its far commute from the city, it became a very popular recreational area for African Americans and their families.
Between 1954 to 1964 Lincoln Beach was at its prime. It also became the main attraction for musical performers such as Nat King Cole, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Little Richard and local artists like Fats Domino, Louis Armstrong, Irma Thomas, and Papa Celestin.
During the Civil Rights act of 1964, Federal courts ordered to end discrimination on public lands and amusement parks. This resulted in Pontchartrain Beach becoming integrated and Lincoln Beach being shut down immediately. Today Lincoln Beach is desolate and abandoned. The area is neglected and has become a thing of the past. Although the area is not the same as it once was, the memories that were created there will forever have an impact on the great city of New Orleans.


3:24 ( three minutes, twenty-four seconds)




Maiya Muhammad


Maiya Muhammad


Date Added
November 12, 2019
Item Type
Moving Image
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Maiya Muhammad, “The History of Lincoln Beach,” MY NOLA, MY STORY , accessed October 1, 2022,