African American History

Honoring Our African-American History

The African American Heritage Trail of Martha’s Vineyard has united communities and augmented the rich fabric of the Island’s history.

Recording Black History on Martha's Vineyard, Filling the Gaps

A groundbreaking project to record the oral histories of 5,000 African Americans has returned to the Vineyard, with more than three dozen videotaped interviews scheduled over two weeks.

Revisiting Shearer Summer Theatre

In the 1940s, a small group of women started the Shearer Summer Theatre. Olive Tomlinson's mother Cutie Bowles was one of them.

Black Whaling Captains Found Liberty at Sea

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.

Smithsonian Exhibit Gives Pride of Place to Oak Bluffs

The Smithsonian Institution's new National Museum of African American Culture and History documents the story of the African American community in Oak Bluffs.

In Heated Election Year, Views on Race Stir Hutchins Forum

The Republican party, Donald Trump and the media all came under fire in this year’s Hutchins Forum, in the midst of what will surely be remembered as one of the most consequential presidential elections in modern time.

The Cottagers: Sixty Years of Community and Philanthrophy

For the past 60 years, women of the Cottagers Inc. have answered the question, what does it mean to serve community?

Looking at African American History on Martha's Vineyard Through Real Estate Lens

Richard Taylor's new book, Martha’s Vineyard: Race, Property, and the Power of Place, traces the story of the African American community on the Vineyard.

Ladies Who Own

From the Cottagers’ Corner column in the July 1969 editions of the Vineyard Gazette by Dorothy West.

At Film Screening, Professor Gates Opens Conversation About Race

Union Chapel was packed for Henry Louis (Skip) Gates Jr.'s film about African Americans over the past five decades. His talk later was part college lecture, part humorous observation, part nostalgic Vineyard experience.

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