Students Pay Homage by Walking African American Heritage Trail
Elaine Cawley Weintraub

The freshman history classes recently traveled the Island’s African American Heritage Trail from Chappaquiddick to Aquinnah as part of their study of the history of Martha’s Vineyard. They visited the home of the Island’s only whaling captain, walked to his grave, paid their respects at the site dedicated to the life of Rebecca, the Woman from Africa and stood at West Basin visualizing the escape of Randall Burton, the man who had decided he would rather die than return to enslavement.

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Boxing Her Way to Equality and Justice
Elaine Weintraub

The African American Heritage Trail of Martha’s Vineyard began as part of a promise to a little boy, and in 1998 the Shearer Cottage was dedicated as the first site on the Trail. The ambition was to reach a total of eight sites. That there were many stories was obvious, but the depth and range of the experiences that make up the tapestry of the African American experience on Martha’s Vineyard was amazing. From fugitive preachers to nationally known politicians, all the struggles and triumphs of people of color were part of the story of this Island.

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Talking the Talk, Walking the Walk, That's How History Comes Alive
Sydney Bender

Elaine Weintraub says “history” a lot. The word rolls off her tongue briskly in three sharp syllables: hih-store-ee.

“Welcome to the 16th annual tour of the African American Heritage Trail,” she said last Thursday at the start of this year’s sophomore class field trip. “Here’s your chance of learning some real hih-store-ee.”

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Heritage Trail History Project Restructures Board of Directors

The African American Heritage Trail History Project is pleased to introduce their newly restructured board of directors. The board is currently led by co-founder of the project, Dr. Elaine Cawley Weintraub, history department chairman at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, a twice awarded Cuffe fellow íin recognition of her contribution to íoriginal scholarship in the field of minority contributions to the maritime history of New England. íMs.

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Students Enliven Island History, Earning Heritage Trail Awards

Winners for the annual Heritage Trail project were announced at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School this week. The project involves sophomore history students who go out and trek the African American Heritage Trail of Martha’s Vineyard, and then do a research project which is judged. Projects fall into categories: writing, art, physical projects and electronic projects.

The winners this year are as follows:

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Heritage Trail Ceremony Will Add St. Andrew’s Church

On Thursday, Jan. 17 at 9:30 a.m. as part of the Island’s celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., St. Andrews Episcopal church on North Summer street in Edgartown will become the twentieth site on the African American Heritage Trail of Martha’s Vineyard.

The church was the site of the first meetings in 1964 of the Martha’s Vineyard chapter of the NAACP. A bronze plaque will be unveiled honoring those citizens of all ethnic groups and from all walks of life who organized to participate in the building of a colorblind society.

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Heritage Trail Dedication

Heritage Trail Dedication

On Saturday, August 16, the African American Heritage Trail, in collaboration with the W.E. Du Bois Institute at Harvard, will dedicate the former home of Dorothy West, Harlem Renaissance writer, as a site on the trail. All are invited.

The dedication is scheduled for 2 p.m., and at 5 p.m. a celebration of life and the creative achievements of the Highlands community will be celebrated at the Shearer Cottage on Rose Avenue in Oak Bluffs. The keynote speaker will be Professor Charles J. Ogletree of Harvard.

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Dorothy West’s Highlands Home is Landmark on Heritage Trail
Mark Alan Lovewell

Longtime friends and followers of the late Dorothy West gathered on Saturday afternoon in the shade on a hot August day to pay tribute to the writer, who was the last surviving member of the Harlem renaissance, and to share memories.

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