Civil Rights Story Set in St. Augustine
Ivy Ashe

Passage at St. Augustine spotlights civil rights campaigns in the historic Florida city. Vineyarder Esther Burgess is featured in the film, which will be screened this weekend in West Tisbury.

Read More

Vineyard Remembers Sen. Edward W. Brooke
Sara Brown

Senator Brooke was remembered this week as the Island’s own — a man whose summers were spent at his home on Nashawena Park with family and friends, a skilled tennis player and a community steward and role model.

Read More

Celebrating History, Sense of Community in Oak Bluffs
Ivy Ashe

Olive Tomlinson remembered the cottages and the shared car rides, the simplicity of summer life. With just a few phrases, Jessica Harris evoked memories of front porches and morning swims.

Read More

Smithsonian Recognizes African American Legacy in Oak Bluffs
Alex Elvin

In the years when much of America was racially segregated, Oak Bluffs was a place of refuge for African Americans. The town will be included an in upcoming permanent Smithsonian exhibit in Washington, D.C. An event will be held Thursday at the Union Chapel.

Read More

For Friendship and to Pay It Forward
Meg Robbins

On Wednesday, elder members and former presidents of the Cottagers gathered around tables and took turns sharing memories.

Read More

Looking at History and In the Mirror Are Keys to Addressing Pillars of Racism
John H. Kennedy

Politics are poisoned by bitter partisanship, economic disparities between whites and minorities are widening and trust between these groups seems to be eroding, complicating efforts to bridge America’s divisions. These were among the many observations by panelists at the annual Hutchins Forum Thursday evening in Edgartown.

Read More

Boxing Her Way to Equality and Justice
Elaine Weintraub

The African American Heritage Trail of Martha’s Vineyard began as part of a promise to a little boy, and in 1998 the Shearer Cottage was dedicated as the first site on the Trail. The ambition was to reach a total of eight sites. That there were many stories was obvious, but the depth and range of the experiences that make up the tapestry of the African American experience on Martha’s Vineyard was amazing. From fugitive preachers to nationally known politicians, all the struggles and triumphs of people of color were part of the story of this Island.

Read More

Black Summer Theatre's History Retold
Olive Tomlinson (as told to Linsey Lee)

Editor’s Note: Olive Tomlinson spoke with Linsey Lee, oral history curator for the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, about her recollections of Liz White’s Shearer Summer Theatre, one of the first summer theatre groups on the Island after World War II. An actress who felt stymied by the stereotyped African American roles available to her on Broadway, in the summers Liz returned to Oak Bluffs where her family owned and operated Shearer Cottage, a popular inn for vacationing African Americans.

Read More

Long Legacy of Open Doors Shearer Cottage Turns 100
Ivy Ashe

The day before the centennial celebration of Shearer Cottage in Oak Bluffs, Gretchen Tucker Underwood noticed that the landscaping around the 100-year-old red inn on Rose avenue was not quite ready for the impending party.

Read More

Hosting Forums, Finding Roots And Three-Wheeling with a Friend
Sara Brown

Henry Louis (Skip) Gates Jr. is passionate about roots. The Harvard professor, writer and genealogist first started on a family tree as a nine-year-old, after his grandfather’s burial, wanting to know about his connection to his father and grandfather. He’s followed his passion in his professional life, through scholarship and his popular television shows tracing people’s genealogy, and in the personal realm: still working on the family tree, he is trying to find the identity of his great-great-grandfather.

Read More

Pages