Dorothy West

Giving With Joy Is the Real Gold Ring

At Christmas there is giving, and in the happiest instances, giving with joy is part of it. This act of love is not a natural instinct.

Black History Month, Confronting the Pain

My undaunted mother took me to see the moving picture version of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. In my safe world I knew nothing of slavery, not even the word.

Father’s Fruitful Legacy Plants Seeds of Self Esteem

A Christmas story by the late Dorothy West, an Oak Bluffs writer and last surviving member of the Harlem Renaissance.
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An Old Friend Recalled

Editors’ note: The following essay written by longtime Oak Bluffs columnist Dorothy West first appeared in the Vineyard Gazette on August 9, 1985.



Dorothy West’s Highlands Home is Landmark on Heritage Trail

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.

A Writer at Home in the Highlands

This is a tale with a moral. I will try not to tax your attention too long. But I have to go way back to begin because it begins with my childhood. It is about houses and children, and which came first.

We had a cottage in the Highlands of unimpressive size and appearance. My mother loved it for its easy care. It couldn’t even stand in the shade of our city house, and there certainly were no special rules for children. No one had ever looked aghast at a child on its premises.

Author Dorothy West Is Celebrated at 90

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.

She’ll Soon Have the Once in a Lifetime Thrill of Seeing Her First Novel in Print

Dorothy West will soon have the once in a life time thrill of seeing her first novel come out in print. The book was written at Oak Bluffs where Miss West occupies a cottage with her mother, and is to be published this spring by Houghton Mifflin. Its title, The Living Is Easy, came to her as she was describing the story to a friend of hers. At least from a first impression, the same phrase might be used to depict the personality of the author herself.