Finding Martha's Vineyard African Americans at Home on an Island by Jill Nelson , Alison Shaw

Review :

I loved learning about a place that was completely unfamiliar to me, and how a specific community established itself, thrived, and tries to remain relevant/simply remain. I also really enjoyed the style of the book, which focused on oral history interviews of a variety of black Martha's Vineyard residents, including year-rounders and summer-only visitors, long-timers and relatively recent additions, the wealthy and the not-so-wealthy. The photos sprinkled throughout the book - including a photo of every interviewee - adds depth and context to the stories being told. My favorite photo is of the author's mother, circa 1966, on page 102. She is so relaxed and happy, grinning at the camera in the most unselfconscious way - I don't know that I've ever felt how she did in that photo, and it makes me want to hop a plane to Martha's Vineyard so that I can try.

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