In Oak Bluffs, Strangers Become Family


“I was part of the social justice task force that pushed our athletic department to look more into hiring practices,” Mr. Williams mentioned. “We also pushed for antiracism sensitivity training for our coaching staff and players. It’s all about community, and what I feel on the island, I try to create in other spaces.” Meanwhile, the spirit of activism on the island continues, with occasions held this summer season for Juneteenth, receptions supporting the campaigns of Black political candidates and provide drives to learn school college students.

But issues on Martha’s Vineyard aren’t all the time idyllic. On July 29, at a summer season camp run by the Chilmark Community Center, an incident happened wherein two white kids wrapped a tent strap across the neck of a Black youngster, eerily paying homage to a noose. The middle’s investigation decided that “we have not found any evidence of overt racial motivation,” however famous that “the act itself and the races of the three boys involved are significant.”

Sophia Hall, of Lawyers for Civil Rights in Boston, represents the household of the Black youngster. “We are still very much a country that is trying to figure out how to deal with racism,” she mentioned. “The report issued by the community center indicates their belief that, because there was no overt racism, this could not have possibly been a racialized incident.” When contacted, the middle declined to remark additional.

Nicole Groves, a lawyer from New York City started coming to the Vineyard 10 years in the past, when her mother and father purchased a spot on the island. I caught up together with her exterior C’est La Vie, a Black-owned attire retailer. This summer season specifically, she was reassured by the prevalence of faces that appear to be hers, and the presence of Black Lives Matter banners flying from houses and shops alongside the principle streets of city.

This summer season, Ms. Groves, 42, was pregnant together with her first youngster, a boy. She mentioned the prospect of elevating a Black male youngster within the present period is “scary,” however that Oak Bluffs gives a respite.

“To have a place where you feel at home, and people walk down the street and give you ‘the nod,’ you always feel safe here,” she mentioned.