What I’m Reading Now

Another in the series.

Blog is returning for brief posts until my hand regains some strength. Typing remains fatiguing so I take frequent breaks. The benefit continues to be that I’m reading many excellent books and watching lots of movies.

Right now Jill Nelson’s Finding Martha’s Vineyard: African Americans at Home on an Island is making me crave a return to the island. I visited a couple of times years ago before the elevated mega-mansions invaded. I share her feelings that once one arrives, there is complete  sense of letting go and of deep relaxation.

Ms. Nelson brings a unique perspective to her subject since she is a member of the exclusive group of upscale black folks who have summered on the island since the early 1900s. The book combines a detailed history of the island from the arrival of white (and black) settlers up through voyages with her own family into the current century. Among the most engaging are the interviews with older folks, especially some of the small number of year-round residents.

The least surprising aspects: police harassment of young African Americans and the  lack of facilities that accepted black patronage on the road from New York to Woods Hole, Massachusetts. The former occurred in the last few years; Ms. Nelson experienced the latter as a child.

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