Private Project

Walking on Water: a Brief History on Black Surfers

Many are familiar with the famous Inkwell destination of Martha’s Vineyard, but America also has another beach with a similar history — in Los Angeles. From the 1900s — 1960s African Americans found leisure and community in a stretch of Santa Monica beach around Bay Street sometimes called “The Inkwell”.

Today, a cohort of educators and sports enthusiasts and reconnecting Black + Brown LA youth to their heritage at the beach through the power of surfing.

  • Rhasaan Nichols
  • Rhasaan Nichols
  • Rhasaan Nichols
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    12 minutes 10 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 7, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival
    Oak Bluffs, MA
    United States
    August 7, 2019
    World Premiere
    Grand Prize Winner
Director Biography - Rhasaan Nichols

Rhasaan Nichols is a filmmaker straight from the heart of North Philadelphia. Upon graduating from Yale University in 2008 with a B.A. in Film Studies, he founded Nichols Makes Sense Productions with a vision to produce innovative media that seeks truth, inspires audiences and demands change.

His first documentary feature, Letters to My Sister, is a personal testament to the resilience of children with special needs— and their families. The film won the HBO Award for Best Documentary at the 2013 Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival.

Rhasaan served as the Artist In Residence at Saatchi & Saatchi NY 2013-2014 where he trained in broadcast production and commercial directing. Following the fellowship he raised $10,000 in 10 Days on Kickstarter for his first narrative short, How To Win— now streaming on Issa Rae Productions.

His latest short documentary, Walking on Water: a Brief History on Black Surfers won the grand prize in the inaugural Race and Sport Around the Globe Short Documentary Competition, sponsored by Arizona State University.

Rhasaan has produced content for TV One, Motown Records, The National Affordable Housing Management Association and The Global Sports Institute— among other esteemed clients!

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