Tag Archives: history

Frederick Douglass, from 1852 to 2020

So many annual summer events have been cancelled due to COVID-19’s imperative to avoid large crowds. Way back in March I wondered if the annual July 4 reading of Frederick Douglass’s “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” … Continue reading

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Juneteenth 2020

There’ve been Juneteenth celebrations on Martha’s Vineyard before, but Friday’s was by far the biggest and most diverse. We gathered at Veterans Park in Vineyard Haven, then marched — well, “walked” is probably the better word — the three and … Continue reading

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Walk, Drive, Remember

Tam and I walked to the post office yesterday afternoon. In my backpack were a handful of postcards urging Wisconsin voters to vote for Jill Karofsky for the state supreme court. The election is April 7, and one of the … Continue reading

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Channeling Frederick Douglass

I just got back from participating in the annual reading of Frederick Douglass’s “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” speech at the Inkwell.  Abigail McGrath of Renaissance House organizes it; Makani Themba stage-manages. There were 30 readers … Continue reading

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New Station on the African-American Heritage Trail

NOTE: I sing in the M.V. Spirituals Choir, part of the U.S. Slave Song Project, and also manage its website. This post is a reprint of one I posted there yesterday. If you’re on the Vineyard and like to sing, … Continue reading

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Statues

I’m more than half Southern on my mother’s side, but I grew up (and have lived most of my life) in Massachusetts, so until pretty recently I was able to think of Confederate statues as mostly a matter of heritage … Continue reading

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Some Personal History

Here’s an addendum of sorts to “Tolerant, Up to a Point,” posted yesterday. During the discussion of the Vineyard’s lesbian and gay history at the Spectrum Film Festival, an audience member mentioned Margaret Webster (1905–1972), the eminent Anglo-American actor and theater … Continue reading

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From Off Island

From Off Island, by Dionis Coffin Riggs, in collaboration with Sidney Noyes Riggs. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1940. This is the 2016 facsimile edition of the novel first published in 1940 by McGraw-Hill’s Whittlesey House imprint, based on the life of … Continue reading

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Happy 90th, Shirley!

Today my friend Shirley Mayhew turns 90. If I don’t finish this post PDQ, I’ll have to say yesterday. I’ve met many, many amazing women in my life, but Shirley is near the top of the list. Shirley moved to … Continue reading

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Trip to the Cliffs

I knew that two characters in Wolfie, my novel in progress, were going to have a heavy conversation while walking on a beach. I thought the beach was going to be Great Rock Bight. Imagine my surprise when they wound up … Continue reading

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