Vineyard Gazette
The student of Vineyard history, at least such history as has been published, will recognize the fact that it was largely through the clergy that things were accomplished during the first hundred
African American History
Oscar E Denniston
Bradley Memorial Church
Denniston House



It may be hard to tell now, but there was a time when the Bradley Memorial Church was arguably the spiritual and social center of Oak Bluffs.

The day outside was cold. A real winter northeaster was blowing in and the gray clouds above promised snow. The door to Vera Shorter’s Vineyard Haven home, however, was open.

She had just indulged in what is quite possibly her only vice she said as she spread a stack of ginger snaps on a plate. She braved the cold so her home would not smell like the cigarettes she cannot seem to give up. She would hate for the smoke to offend the guests who stop in from time to time.


Edward Brooke

You might expect the first black man ever popularly elected as a United States senator would be out there rooting for the election of the first black President. But no. Edward W. Brooke has never thought race — or gender, for that matter — had anything to do with worthiness.

When we think of the Polar Bears of Martha's Vineyard we think of tradition, acceptance,friendship, and now transition.


With whispers that a hundred more were waiting outside, they filled the hall, charged with the anticipation of hearing the charismatic new voice of the Democratic Party, United States Senatorial candidate from Illinois, Barack Obama, and listening as a panel of luminaries offered their views on Brown vs. Board of Education: Mission Accomplished?


She reaches out with cool, fragile fingers — a thin, velour hand steadying herself with a gentle hold. It hasn’t been such a good month for her health But the old wicker chair on the Oak Bluffs porch is positioned in the sun to warm her and she gingerly negotiates herself into it. Pausing to catch her breath, she will chat about politics (“Gore is going win”), share opinions (“Oprah, please, do you need me to send you some Kleenex?”), and the perspective of many years. Isabel Washington Powell, decked out in smiles, red lipstick and every hair in place, is ready.