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Gates Loves (Black) Martha’s Vineyard

From the archives of Travel + Leisure:

In this July 10, 2009 photo, afternoon light appears on the ...

Afternoon light appears on the facades of houses in the Cottage Park neighborhood of Oak Bluffs, on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

My Favorite Place: Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Author, cultural critic, and Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. takes DANI SHAPIRO out for a ride on Martha’s Vineyard.

From August 2007 By Dani Shapiro

I [Henry Gates] started going to Oak Bluffs in 1981 and fell in love with the light. It reminded me of the light in the south of France, near St.-Paul-de-Vence, which for me was a déjà vu experience—it evoked the summer of 1973, when I spent a wonderful time in France with James Baldwin and Josephine Baker.

Martha’s Vineyard is one of the few beach resorts in the United States where black people have a long tradition of vacationing and owning property. Until 1907 Oak Bluffs was called Cottage City: The Methodist Revival movement had its meetings there, first in pitched tents, which eventually became rows of gingerbread cottages. Black people came for the Methodist meetings, and then privileged blacks—local doctors, dentists, lawyers—started to come as well. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. had a house there, as did Massachusetts Senator Edward Brooke. Of the East Coast beach communities, Sag Harbor and Martha’s Vineyard were open to black people.

I spend every July and August in my house near Oak Bluffs. I love bicycling, and because of a hip replacement I had a couple of years ago, I had a 24-speed tricycle made by hand in Germany. Every day I write in the morning, then ride eight miles from my house to South Beach. I get off, look at the ocean, then get back on and ride home. My tricycle has a bell that sounds like the Good Humor man, and I ring it when I pass people. Everybody waves and says, ‘There goes that Henry Louis Gates Jr.!’

It’s peace for me, in Oak Bluffs. I haven’t been able to relax more completely anywhere since I was a kid fishing on the Potomac."

One wonders if the Obamas didn’t get the idea of vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard (at a luxurious 29 acre beach front ‘farm’) from their dear friend ‘Skip’ Gates.

Don’t they know anyone who isn’t obsessed with their racial or ethnic identity?

It reminded me of the light in the south of France, near St.-Paul-de-Vence, which for me was a déjà vu experience—it evoked the summer of 1973, when I spent a wonderful time in France with James Baldwin and Josephine Baker.

It’s sad, really. Everywhere Mr. Gates goes he is held captive by his demons.

He can’t even take a vacation from his racism.

(Thanks to Melly for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, July 27th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

12 Responses to “Gates Loves (Black) Martha’s Vineyard”

  1. Melly says:

    Ah – how the elite live.
    Guess there is no police departement on Martha’s Vineyard. ;-)

  2. Liberals Demise says:

    What? No Black Panthers Party house?
    You know, they just love down time at the sea shore.

    • greasywrench says:

      WTF! What a name-dropping arse. I’m sure he would have taken lots of “long walks on the beach” with Mumia and Tookie if the “White Establishment” weren’t so racist and convicted them of those murders. Now I’ve gotta take a couple of Rolaids from the heartburn Gates has given me.

  3. jrmcdonald says:

    My goodness, the ‘Hood’ is looking real nice…

  4. VMAN says:

    So why don’t Gates and all these other Commie “African-Americans” give up their ill gotten gains and spread it around to all the bros in the hood. If they want to live the Commie life they’re welcome to it. Seems to me they have enough to spread around. Vacationing in the south of France!!! He makes me want to puke.

    • jobeth says:

      Great point…of course I think you’ll find NO commie shares his own wealth. Only someone else’s.

      And with the commie’s in power now…not many of us will ever be able to enjoy the south of France like the commie elite…white or black.

      I also wonder just how much of his “501 c3” paid for those vactions in the south of France…ummm.

  5. GetBackJack says:

    But Gate’s ain’t Black.

    Boy these impostor-negroes must really piss off the actual Black man. Whitey be so clever now, he’s giving top harvard posts to men who just look BLACK.

    • Melly says:

      Well – I remember watching his PBS special “African American Lives” on African geneology and I think his great grand parent was white. Someone will have to correct me which family member, but Gates is part white. :-O

      Something else he has in common with Barry.

      [From Wikepedia: Gates learns of his European ancestry (50%), and in the second installment we learn he is descended from the Irish King, Niall of the Nine Hostages. He also learns that he is descended in part from the Yoruba people of Nigeria]

      Here’s the clip revealing Gates connection to his Irish past – he is leaping for joy over hearing it:

      http://www.pbs.org/wnet/aalives/profiles/index.html

  6. canary says:

    Obama has well documented his hatred of whites. I just don’t believe the Democratic general public realised it. As far as politicans, they don’t care because of the socialist agenda.

  7. artboyusa says:

    “I had a 24-speed tricycle made by hand in Germany…”oh that’s brilliant! Just brilliant. You couldn’t make it up. A tricycle…I bet he has one of those dopey helmets too. And those lycra cycling pants. And some of those $500 sneakers. And don’t tell him that his “made by hand in Germany” trike was probably really made in Slovakia or Poland.

    Oh, and those special gloves with the holes in them. I bet he has those too.

  8. ptat says:

    “While on the vineyard, I will go into the food store, where there is a white cashier and 2 black cashiers. The clothing store next door has 2 white clerks and 2 black part timers, but the gas station I go to has an asian and a black and then sometimes it looks like a latino works there. I don’t know, maybe he is part latino and part portuguese. Most of my servants are white, but I did hire a black driver. Sometimes I go to the beach to count how many blacks and whites there are. I am black, you are white….blah, blah, blah…”

  9. artboyusa says:

    “Except I’m not sure if you’re allowed to say ‘Latino’ anymore. I think they, the former Latinos that is, may have changed it. I better get one of my assistants, the white one, to check it out for me…” excellent post ptat. Mucho funny and to the point.


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