|Oak Bluffs Beach and Harbor (Source: Wikimedia Commons)|
Oak Bluffs is the home of both the gingerbread cottages I wrote about in my "G" post and the Flying Horses featured in my "F" post. It is also known as the party town of Martha's Vineyard.
In keeping with New England's Puritan beginnings, many of the towns on Martha's Vineyard are "dry," meaning no alcohol can be purchased in them. Diners who go to restaurants in these towns are invited to bring their own wine or beer to dinner but they will not find any alcohol on the menus. Oak Bluffs is one of the exceptions to this rule.
As a result, Circuit Avenue, the town's main street, is lined with bars. If you are looking for night life on the island, Oak Bluffs is the place to go.
But the town is not just about partying. It is also a diverse community that has been the preferred summer resort for many African-Americans for generations.
Oak Bluffs has been called the "Black Hamptons," and it has been a vacation destination for wealthy African-Americans since the 1800s. A popular beach in the town is known as the "Inkwell," reportedly named by Harlem Renaissance writers who visited the town and were inspired by its beaches. One of the Renaissance writers, Dorothy West, wrote a novel about the Oak Bluffs community called The Wedding, which was made into a movie starring Halle Berry and produced by Oprah Winfrey in the 1990s.
The African American Heritage Trail of Martha's Vineyard chronicles the history of African-Americans on the island and runs a tour dedicated to this effort. Dorothy West's home is included on the tour, along with 15 other sites of historical significance.
My A-Z of Martha's Vineyard theme is inspired by my book, The Ghosts of Aquinnah, which is set on the island. Click here for all the info on the book.