Abigail McGrath, of Oak Bluffs, is researching and interviewing for a film on the artists of the Harlem Renaissance, a documentary called Chick Nor Child.
The focus of the film is on how few of the artists left a biological legacy and how few were able to live on their art. There are many Vineyard residents who were a part of this period. Among them were: Lois Maillou Jones, Helene Johnson, Dorothy West, Harry T. Burleigh, Warren Coleman, James Weldon Johnson, Isabelle Powell and a host of others still to be discovered. Ms. McGrath is gathering information from relatives of any artists of that period.
Ms. McGrath is the daughter of Helene Johnson, the poet and niece of Dorothy West — the novelist who fashioned her book The Wedding after Abigail’s life. She is one of the very few children of the Renaissance.
Now she is reaching out to the community, asking anyone with stories or photos or recollections of any kind to please contact her here on the Island. She plans to start shooting in April.
Ms. McGrath can be reached at P.O. Box 3048, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557 or by e-mail to Mcgrathabby@aol.com or be calling 508-687-9446. She would be delighted for any information at all.