Guest curated by The Bureau. Black Americans have been a part of Martha’s Vineyard’s historical legacy long before the Island was made a stop on the Underground Railroad; and even before Shearer Cottage, a Black-owned inn in Oak Bluffs, was designated a safe space in The Green Book. For centuries, Black families have used Oak Bluffs as a haven, safe from the rampant and violent racism of the rest of the country and to find, what Maya Angelou described as, “a safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”
The Bureau returned last year to begin documenting the Black community, starting in Oak Bluffs and expanding throughout the Island. They spent time gathering photographic and film portraits, along with audio interviews of families and individuals with a connection to the Island that span several generations, as well as, first-time visitors and long-time business owners.
This mixed-medium exhibition serves not only as an enrichment of the Black body that is deeply woven throughout the history of the Island, but also as a beaming lighthouse for our future to connect and live out, even if briefly, the freedom dreams of our ancestors.
Sunday, January 8 at 10:00am to 4:00pm
Martha's Vineyard Museum
151 Lagoon Pond Road, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568