A New Day Dawns for the Bradley Memorial
Vineyard Gazette

The Bradley Memorial Baptist Church of Oak Bluffs is happy now to be in possession of a new church home where services have been held the past three Sundays. The structure which stands opposite the Oak Bluffs town hall on Pequot avenue, was built by the First Baptist Church and I used for many years until this congregation disbanded and sold the property to the Odd Fellows Fraternity.

Read More

Black Whaling Captains Found Liberty at Sea
Louisa Hufstader
Of the 2,500 masters who captained whaling ships during three centuries of whaling, at least 63 were men of color, five with Martha’s Vineyard ties, Skip Finley told a rapt audience Wednesday night.
Read More

Author Dorothy West Is Celebrated at 90
Yvonne Guzman
Dorothy West, the great African-American writer who turned 90 this summer, was the guest of honor at a spectacular birthday party Friday afternoon inside the Union Chapel. Well over 500 people gathered, including First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.
 
Miss West, a 50-year resident of Oak Bluffs, is the author of many short stories and two novels, and she is the sole remaining member of the Harlem Renaissance.
Read More

Judge Tucker Brings New Dignity To Sessions of Island Court
Joseph B. White
A man and woman charges recently with sleeping in Ocean Park, a violation of Oak Bluffs law, came before the Dukes county district court judge Herbert E. Tucker, Jr. and were ordered to pay a $25 fine. The told Judge Tucker they needed until 1 p.m. that afternoon to pay.
 
At 1 p.m., the couple did not show appear.
Read More

Smithsonian Exhibit Gives Pride of Place to Oak Bluffs
Steve Myrick
The Smithsonian Institution's new National Museum of African American Culture and History documents the story of the African American community in Oak Bluffs.
Read More

Forum on Race Relations Draws Full-House Crowd Into Old Whaling Church
C.K. Wolfson

With whispers that a hundred more were waiting outside, they filled the hall, charged with the anticipation of hearing the charismatic new voice of the Democratic Party, United States Senatorial candidate from Illinois, Barack Obama, and listening as a panel of luminaries offered their views on Brown vs. Board of Education: Mission Accomplished?

Read More

Ceremonies at Shearer Cottage Dedicate Historic Site on African American Trail
Ethan Kelley
Shearer Cottage in Oak Bluffs was the first inn on Martha’s Vineyard, and among the first in the nation, to be owned by and cater to black people. It now has been dedicated to the man for who founded the inn, and is a key stop on the Vineyard’s Heritage Trail.
 
Named for Charles Shearer, the cottage is the culmination of this man’s journey to prosperity.
 
Charles Shearer was born into slavery in Virginia. During the Civil War he assisted Union soldiers as a hunter, and in turn received his freedom.
Read More

N.A.A.C.P. Chapter Formed on Island To Study Human Relations on the Vineyard
Vineyard Gazette
As the result of interest shown at a meeting Monday night, the Island now has a chapter of its own of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
 
The parish house of Grace Epis­copal Church in Vineyard Haven was jam-packed Monday evening to hear Rev. Henry L. Bird talk about his experiences in Williamston, N.
Read More

Robert Tankard Named As the Interim Principal At West Tisbury School
Julia Wells
The West Tisbury school committee voted last night to appoint Robert A. Tankard as interim principal at the West Tisbury School, ending with smiles and expressions of success a search process which began just three weeks ago.
 
“I think you got a good man,” said Pat Gregory, a West Tisbury resident who served on an advisory panel made up of teachers, parents and other com­munity representatives.
Read More

Heritage Trail: Island Project Shows Story of Black History
Yvonne Guzman
In the Waterview Farm area of Oak Bluffs is a boulder as tall as a man. Back in the 1790s, the Rev. John Saunders de­livered his sermons here, from atop “Pulpit Rock.” Mr. Saunders, who was African-American, was one of the first people to preach Methodism on Martha’s Vineyard.
 
But for anyone who doesn’t know the story, this is just a rock in an Oak Bluffs subdiyision.
Read More

Pages