NewsGeorgia's Tybee Island Working To Prevent Annual Beach Party

Georgia’s Tybee Island Working To Prevent Annual Beach Party

The Mayor of Georgia’s Tybee Island is hoping to shut down Orange Crush weekend.

Black college students expecting to attend the annual beach party on Georgia’s Tybee Island this weekend will be in for a rude awakening.

While authorities can’t stop the partygoers from going to Georgia’s largest public beach, they will be blocking access to nearby parking. The party, created by students at Savannah State University in 1988, has become a staple over the decades with thousands of Black college students attending each year.

Now with Mayor Brian West in office, he’s hoping the increased police activity will help do away with Orange Crush for good.

“This has to stop. We can’t have this crowd anymore,” West said. “My goal is to end it.”

However, a Black resident believes locals of the predominantly white town are only singling out events that draw large crowds of Black people and ignoring the Fourth of July and other weekends when visitors are majority white.

“Our weekends are packed with people all season, but when Orange Crush comes they shut down the parking, bring extra police and act like they have to take charge,” Julia Pearce, one of the island’s few Black residents and leader of a group called the Tybee MLK Human Rights Organization said.

“They believe Black folks to be criminals.”

Mayor West says race is not a factor and the only concern is the public safety crisis that Orange Crush brings the small town. He also notes how long it’s taken city officials to take action against Orange Crush because they feared being called racist.

“To me, it has nothing to do with race,” West said. “We can’t let that be a reason to let our citizens be unsafe and so we’re not.”

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Source: Black Enterprise

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