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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Inauguration Day 2009: Island Pauses To Witness History in Washington
Sam Bungey

The last time a new president was sworn in the only Vineyard party to make the news was an anti-inaugural street march complete with protest placards and a theme song.

Read More

Encountering Barack Obama Amid Vineyard’s Black History
Tom Dresser
In the late summer of 2004, Barack Obama agreed to participate in a forum on race relations held at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown.
Read More

At Shearer Cottage, Blacks Were Welcome

My grandfather, Charles Shearer, was born into slavery. Henrietta Shearer was of Native American and African American descent. They were both educated at Hampton University.

Read More

Poverty and Failure of Education System Weigh on Black Students
Mike Seccombe

Since 1968, the black middle class in America has quadrupled, Henry Louis (Skip) Gates told a packed house at the Edgartown Whaling Church on Thursday evening.

But that was the only positive news in an otherwise bleak survey of the state of black education by a panel of experts convened by Professor Gates and the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research.

Read More

Let’s Talk About Race: Panel Argues Racial Divide Persists
Peter Brannen

It’s past time for Americans to have a conversation about race, a panel of cultural and academic luminaries agreed at a crowded Martha’s Vineyard Performing Arts Center on Wednesday. What the rules of that conversation are, who the participants are and where the conversation will take place is less certain.

Read More

Strolling Through the Porches of History
Constance J. Batty

The spirit of community, fellowship and Vineyard charms permeate the walls of the five houses being presented by the Cottagers for the 28th annual Cottager House Tour on July 21. The houses represent a diverse group in style and age. Some remain similar to the original houses built around the middle of the 19th century, others are the newly built or refurbished homes of today with current amenities. The owners love their houses passionately and are engaged in the community around them. The names on some houses reflect the owners’ love of the Vineyard.

Read More

Cottagers Tour Strides Through Island’s African American History
Constance J. Batty
The Highlands, as they are familiarly known, are located on East Chop, the general boundary being laid out like the Methodist Camp Ground in Oak Bluffs, with a central circle ringed by house lots along curving avenues.
Read More

African Americans on Martha’s Vineyard, Then and Now
John H. Kennedy
On a recent sparkling morning at Inkwell Beach, summer resident and retired Boston judge Ed Redd emerged from his daily swim and carefully considered a question: Does Martha’s Vineyard still retain a certain magic for African Americans — longtime residents and new visitors alike? Judge Redd, a barrel-chested, affable ambassador for the Polar Bears, the historic group that finds invigoration and spirituality in morning swims at the Inkwell from July 4 to Labor Day, didn’t pause for long.
Read More