Election Day 2008: Vineyard Backs Obama All the Way
Mike Seccombe

Vineyard voters came down decisively on the winning side of history on Tuesday, turning out in record numbers to help elect America’s first black President.

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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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Treasure Buried Under Decades of Dust; Denniston Treasures Go to Museum
Alexander Trowbridge

Linsey Lee emerged from what was once the Vineyard’s first African American church last week peeling a respirator from her face. By her count, she had spent more than 150 hours in the Bradley Memorial Church in Oak Bluffs, and the mask stood as a shield between her and decades of dust.

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Black-Owned Businesses Dwindle on Island
Alexander Trowbridge

Black-owned businesses on Martha’s Vineyard span its economic and cultural niches while catering to a general audience. They are inns, art galleries, boutiques and restaurants as well as service providers from real estate to holistic weight loss. But many African American business owners, year-rounders, vacationers and community leaders agree that, given the Island’s history and large African American summer population, there are not nearly enough black-owned businesses based here.

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Denniston House Once Served as Spiritual, Educational Center
Jim Hickey

It may be hard to tell now, but there was a time when the Bradley Memorial Church was arguably the spiritual and social center of Oak Bluffs.

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Racial Equality Long Way Off, Say Speakers Led by Skip Gates
Lauren Martin

Nodding to Professor Henry Louis (Skip) Gates Jr. at his Whaling Church panel discussion Achieving Equality in the Age of Obama last night, Princeton professor Melissa Harris-Lacewell shook her head and said: ”If you had told me this time last year, when we were all pretty emotionally up and excited, even though George W. Bush was still our President, that we would actually feel worse a year later, when Barack Obama was our President, about questions of race in America, I would have told you you were lying.”

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An Island Too Small to Be Too Segregated
Sam Bungey
Henry Louis (Skip) Gates Jr. uses the quiet entrance, through the corridors of the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School to a backstage area of the performing arts center, no doubt the sort of precaution he regularly takes since his arrest and high profile beer with the President last month.

But as he enters, he bellows with a theatrical gesture of his walking cane in the direction of his friend and legal counsel, Charles J. Ogletree Jr., the man he calls Tree.

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After Beer, Skip Gates Offers Substance
Mike Seccombe

Nobel prize-winning economist Robert Solow had the overflow crowd roaring with laughter from the very start of his introduction of Henry Louis Gates Jr. at the Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival on Sunday.

“It’s not often,” he deadpanned, “that you get the chance to introduce a deserving but obscure scholar . . . .”

And people say Americans don’t understand irony.

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Finding in Science What Slave Trade Had Erased, Stories Grow from Roots
Bettye Foster Baker

IN SEARCH OF OUR ROOTS: How 19 Extraordinary Americans Reclaimed Their Past. By Henry Louis Gates Jr. Crown. January, 2009. 424 pages. $27.50.

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The Only Ones Are Not Everyone
Elizabeth Gates

In early October 2008 I was invited to Chicago to sit in the Family and Friends Tent in Bryant Park and witness the possible election of our nation’s 44th President, Barack Hussein Obama.

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