Controversy and confusion over the recent downsizing of a summer event in Waban Park prompted an outpouring of support for the antiracism advocacy organization A Long Talk at the Oak Bluffs selectmen’s meeting Tuesday.

The issue first arose at an August 10 selectmen’s meeting, when town officials discussed whether to revoke a permit for an Oak Bluffs seasonal resident to hold a music event in Waban Park, after flyers promoting the event differed from his earlier descriptions of it.

According to a recording of the meeting, flyers had dubbed the August 14 event The Black Party, and said there would be card games, kickball, cornhole and multiple musical performers. Selectmen said at the meeting they had heard there would be a larger crowd in attendance than had originally been billed, with the event gaining widespread attention on social media.

The flyer was produced by A Long Talk, a national organization that hosts programmed antiracism discussions.

During the August 10 meeting, select board chairman Brian Packish repeatedy called the flyer “alarming” and expressed concern with the event’s name, calling it exclusionary. Other selectmen suggested a need for increased security around the event.

The permit holder, Sean Porter, who is black, distanced himself from the event and said he understood the concern about the flyer, emphasizing that it had been made without his knowledge by the A Long Talk organization. He said he would resolve the issue, and that the event would be a smaller gathering of older, “well-to-do” African Americans listening to classic R and B music.

Discussion went on for more than 20 minutes, with back-and-forth between selectmen and Mr. Porter about the event in particular, and also about the proliferation of summer events in the town — causing headaches for the select board.

Although the August 14 event took place, A Long Talk did not participate.

But in written statements on its website afterward, the organization vehemently disputed that it had co-opted the event, and expressed concern with language used by selectmen and Mr. Porter, calling aspects of it racist. They also defended the name, saying it was a celebration of black joy and culture. The group produced a video titled “Who Cancelled The Black Party,” a parody of the conversation from the August 10 selectmen’s meeting with clips of Mr. Packish speaking.

A Long Talk also circulated a petition requesting support for the organization, receiving more than 250 signatures.

At the selectmen’s meeting Tuesday, more than 30 people appeared on Zoom advocating for A Long Talk, flooding the comment section with various messages of support.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, A Long Talk’s chief empowerment officer Kyle Williams, who is also a black seasonal resident of Oak Bluffs, said statements made at the prior meeting had misrepresented the organization’s message. He broadly described A Long Talk’s mission to eradicate racism.

“This narrative that we just jumped in here and try to take over something is just absolutely untrue,” Mr. Williams said. “We thought having The Black Party on Martha’s Vineyard, it was almost like the litmus test. We thought we were ready. But we found . . . there were some black people that didn’t understand or appreciate it, there were some board members that didn’t understand or appreciate it. We need to do a better job of getting our message out.”

Select board member Jason Balboni defended the actions of his board, describing the controversy as a “big misunderstanding” and saying that security concerns raised two weeks ago had to do with the large number of people expected at the event.

“It wasn’t who was showing up at the party. It was the number of people at the party,” Mr. Balboni said. “Just like I didn’t understand some things that were said, I think maybe some people don’t understand some parts that were coming from us.”

Christine Todd, executive director of the Oak Bluffs business association who is also a county commissioner, said in a lengthy comment that she hoped anti-racism advocacy events could occur year-round, rather than just in the summer months, prompting a flood of messages that A Long Talk had worked year-round with schools on-Island.

Select board members adjourned the meeting after assistant school superintendent Richie Smith encouraged people to participate in A Long Talk’s programming, saying he supported Mr. Williams, as well as the Oak Bluffs select board.

“Whatever has happened here . . . I’m certain of the quality of people,” Mr. Smith said.