On Sunday, dozens of people gathered at the former home of Emma Chambers Maitland, at 113 Dukes County Avenue in Oak Bluffs, for the unveiling of a plaque commemorating Ms. Maitland’s new place on the African American Heritage Trail.
Ms. Maitland, who in her life was a singer, dancer, boxer, wrestler, and nurse, was a longtime resident of Oak Bluffs. Barney Zeitz created the plaque that commemorated her life and spirit.
After an introductory speech by Elaine Weintraub and several amusing anecdotes from Frank Chambers (Ms. Maitland’s nephew), Jacqueline Hunt, former Martha’s Vineyard NAACP president, who had known Emma as a girl, requested a moment of reflection to honor those who had been slain in Charleston, S.C., the previous week. Everyone in the crowd circled up and gripped hands as Ms. Hunt discussed the horror of the killing, and she also noted how lucky we are on Martha’s Vineyard to celebrate diversity.
Attendees included Oak Bluffs Selectman Kathy Burton, Barney Zeitz and family, and retired Oak Bluffs Police Chief Joe Carter and his family. The unveiling marks the 16th African American heritage site. For a full story on Emma Maitland, read the MVTimes story here: mvtimes.com/2015/06/24/welcome-to-the-trail-emma-maitland/.