Reflecting on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and the multiple stories of people of color on the Vineyard, freshman history classes at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School produced more than 100 projects as part of the annual African American Heritage Trail history project. The students traveled the trail, interviewed members of the community and created a wide array of work featuring the stories that had engaged their interest.

Awards were given in four categories.

First prize in empathy and historical understanding went to Tyanna Edwards, Olivia Pate and Jamilyn Joseph for their book My Struggle: The Story of Emma Chambers Maitland.

First prize for electronic work went to Cole Leuenberger for his Facebook page for Randall Burton, a fugitive slave who found refuge on the Vineyard.

Two first prizes were awarded for community involvement: one to Gabi Carlos and Kylie Hathaway for their interview with Carrie Tankard. The other first prize in this section went to James Kelliher for his model of the Shearer Cottage and his interview with Lee Van Allen, the current owner.

Julian Bernstein won first prize for his scholarly study of the work of Harry Burleigh.

A first prize award for museum quality work went to David Webster whose portrait of the Shearer Cottage was greatly admired by the judges.

A judge’s pick award went to Mary McCarthy for her journal of Edgar Jones and to Sophie Bonneau for her story of Isabel Powell.

Honorable mention awards follow:

Eva Wilson, Joe Louis: Fighting Spirit of America.

Ludymilla Monteiro, Against all Odds, The Story of Emma Chambers Maitland.

Alex Look, Captain Martin’s Family Tree.

Aidan Alberti, a paper on Sen. Edward Brooke.

Gavin Leuenberger, a paper on John Saunders.

Barbara De Paolo and Tessa Whitaker, The Journal of Dorothy West.

Doug Debettencourt and Livy Smith, The Life of Rebecca Amos.

Lily Davy and Colby Scarsella, MVNAACP.

The Heritage Trail will formally award the students at a school event and commends their teachers Joellen Meuse and Dana Moore for the hard work and the encouragement they gave to their students to excel. We live in a caring and diverse community and nowhere is it more apparent than when the community pulls together to support our young people and help them to learn the stories of their Island.

Judges for the project were drawn from the Island community and included Ewell Hopkins, Janice Frame, Carrie and Carmen Tankard, Robyn Maciel Wyngate, Marsha Curtis, Nina Ferry, Julia Wells and several students.