Emma Chambers Maitland isn’t a household name even in our town of Oak Bluffs where she lived near Tony’s Market. Born Jane Chambers in Virginia in 1893 Emma was ambitious and left for Washington, D.C. where she met and married Clarence Maitland. He graduated with a medical degree from Howard University and they had a daughter before he died of tuberculosis.

Emma observed: “I was a fiancée, a wife, a mother and a widow all in one year.”

Filled with ambition Emma became a dancer and an actress, leaving her child with her parents so she could go to Paris and dance at the famous Moulin Rouge. The story goes that while traveling through Europe on her own, she had to fend off an overzealous suitor which led to her training with heavyweight boxing champ Jack Taylor. She appeared in a skit in Paris in 1927 when she and another black lady boxed for three rounds. Soon Emma was earning over $500 per fight and recognized as the female lightweight boxing champion of the world.

Returning to the United States a certified boxer, she also appeared in the musical Harlem at the Apollo Theatre in 1929 — the same show that Oak Bluffs’ Isabel ‘Belle’ Washington Powell, Adam Clayton Powell Jr.’s former wife, was featured in.

Retiring from boxing, Mrs. Maitland bought a home in Oak Bluffs and died here in 1975 after an active, colorful career. We know her story thanks to the African American Heritage Trail of Martha’s Vineyard that notes an incredible role model, a woman who never accepted her limitations and who embraced life. You can read about Emma and other stories of the trail at mvafricanamericanheritagetrail.org.

You just have to be lucky to find the story of Oak Bluffs’ Emily Reich, like I was, stopping by Enchanted Chocolates to visit her mom, Kathleen Crowley. An Islander since age two and a graduate of Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, 26-year-old Emily took up what used to be the guy’s water sports of kite boarding and surfing. She and her boyfriend Mark Midema are leading a life of the endless summer, water being their passion.

Ms. Reich is eminently qualified. A graduate of Old Dominion and member of the varsity sailing team, she’s a two time All-American sailor (2011 and 2012) in the 420, a two person sailboat. With a lifestyle designed around the water Emily is a social media expert for the Melissa Odabash Bikini Company (odabash.com) and one of only a few lady ambassadors for sunglass companies. A traveler to far flung beaches in Australia, Malaysia and Indonesia, she plans a move to Jupiter near West Palm Beach. Did I mention Emily has a 50-ton Inland Captain’s License? Wishing fair winds and a following sea to the adventurous young Emily, we look forward to her future exploits.

Glenn Tunstull’s art show opens with a reception at Cousen Rose Saturday August 13 at 7 p.m. On Sunday Cousen Rose hosts the signing of Glenn’s new coffee table book, Fashion to Fine Art, after church from 10:30 to 1 p.m.

The 14th Annual Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival wraps up Saturday with a party at Lola’s on Saturday night at 10 p.m. Floyd and Stefanie Rance’s nationally recognized festival had an ambitious schedule of almost 40 award-worthy films this year.

Steve Capers Martha’s Vineyard Comedy Fest began at the Lamppost last week and continues Monday to Thursday next week, August 15 to 18. More information on times and performers is at marthasvineyardcomedyfest.com.

India.Arie is the featured guest of Songversation at the Grange Hall on Sunday, August 14 at 7:30 p.m. in a benefit for Shelectricity, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering girls of color. For information, visit shelectricity.org.

There are a couple of eye-opening events in Oak Bluffs you do not want to miss: Illumination Night in the Campground on Wednesday, and the annual Oak Bluffs Fire Department’s Fireworks in Ocean Park on Friday, sponsored by the former Wesley House, nee Summercamp Hotel.

I’ve learned that the word for stacked up rocks like those on the jetty across from Farm Pond is cairn. There have been reports of Philistines who, in not recognizing these free art shows, knock them over. If what happens to those who throw the first stone offers guidance, don’t be that person. Let’s see ceilings broken instead.

Mr. President, thanks for the last eight years.

Keep your foot on a rock.

Send Oak Bluffs news to skip@mvgazette.com.