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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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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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