Vineyard Gazette
In a letter to Rev. Henry L. Bird, the text of which follows, Mrs. Robert W.
Civil rights
Vineyard Gazette
The Rev. Henry L. Bird was released from jail in Williamston, N.
Civil rights
Vineyard Gazette
Dr. Robert W. Nevin is on his way this morning to Williamston, N. C., as a participant in the civil rights demonstration in which, last week, the Rev. Henry L.
Civil rights
Vineyard Gazette
Williamston. Town (Pop. 3,966) co, seat of martin Co., n.e. N. C., on the Roanoke and ESE of Rocky Mount; inc. 1779.
Civil rights


Fifty years ago this month Harry Belafonte helped make history. On August 28, 1963, Mr. Belafonte, at Martin Luther King Jr.’s behest, recruited celebrities to speak to the estimated 250,000 Americans assembled on the Washington Mall ­— an event which, for many, defined a decade, even a century.

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Vineyard Gazette presents a chronicle of selected texts from our archive pertaining to the civil rights movement and Martin Luther King Jr. as they intersected with life on Martha's Vineyard.


The lessons at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High school last Friday were centered on 1960s diner sit-ins and dormitory riots. And the teacher was civil rights pioneer, author and journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault.

At a schoolwide multicultural assembly hosted by the Martha’s Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative, Ms. Hunter-Gault told stories from her youth and read from her recent book, To the Mountaintop, written for high school-aged students.

angela davis

Angela Davis is no stranger to injustice. She grew up in Birmingham, Ala. in the era of segregation, was acquitted after being wrongfully imprisoned for 16 months on murder charges, and has, throughout her life, spoken out against all forms of oppression. When she travelled in June of 2011 to Palestine with a delegation of indigenous women and women of color, she felt she was travelling in regrettably familiar territory. What she observed was even more dire than what she had anticipated, she said.

charlayne hunter gault

As a little girl, Charlayne Hunter-Gault would sit on her grandmother’s knee while she read the news, picking out the comics, finding one in particular rather enchanting.

“I fell in love with Brenda Starr,” she said. “I thought, here’s the most exciting job for a woman — taking on the world as she reported for the newspaper. It never occurred to me that this was a white woman with red hair and blue eyes.”

Recently during a meeting with high school seniors to talk about the civil rights movement, I learned their graduation was on May 17.

“Wow,” I exclaimed. “How wonderful to be graduating on such a historic day.” Seated at a round table in front of me, all of the students looked at me quizzically.

“You do know the significance of May 17?” I asked, only to be met with the same uncomprehending looks.