Oak Bluffs

—MV Times

“The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.”  –Ida B. Wells

I was very sad to learn that the Island lost another great one. Attorney Ron Rappaport passed away suddenly, and too soon, on June 7. Ron had just spoken so eloquently the week before at the Dennis DaRosa plaque installation celebration, telling the story of growing up in Oak Bluffs with his best friend. Ron has been a champion for truth and reason, and this entire Island will sorely miss him.

June 19 is Juneteenth, the day we commemorate the official end of slavery in the U.S. The Juneteenth flag will be raised at the Tabernacle at noon to commemorate this important day in American history. There are three symbols on the flag: the star represents freedom for every black American, the burst around the star symbolizes a new beginning for all, and the arc shows a new horizon of opportunities. Then from 4 to 6, there will be a celebration at Inkwell Beach, including musical performances and speeches.

On Juneteenth Eve, Tuesday the 18th, authors Tom Dresser and Richard Taylor will discuss their new book, “Black Homeownership On Martha’s Vineyard” at 4 pm. By the way, Tom’s other new book, “Culinary History of Martha’s Vineyard” (a collaboration with his wife, Joyce Dresser) is available in bookstores now also. This book offers the history of famed Island eateries, along with some juicy stories from those who were there.

Be sure to get your tickets for “Taste of Juneteenth,” taking place on Sunday the 23rd at the Portuguese-American Club, from 6 to 9 pm. Over a dozen guest chefs will offer food samplings featuring soulfully inspired dishes that reflect the Black cultural experience. There will be vendor booths, art, and live music. The winner of the Marie B. Allen Juneteenth Creative Arts contest will present the winning piece. Tickets available at naacp.org.

Along with all these exciting events, the Oak Bluffs Harbor Fest will take place on Saturday, June 15, from 10 am to6 pm. This fun, all-day celebration on the harbor includes vendors, food, and music. Come out and support all the artists, buy some treats, dance on the dock, and see your neighbors before the summer crowds take over!

Have you always wanted to join the summer yoga class on the beach? “Yoga for All” with Christopher Simms will be offered on Thursday, June 20, at the O.B. library from 10:30 am to noon. Space is limited for this dynamic class; preregister at oakb_mail@clamsnet.org, or call 508-693-9433.

Happy birthday to Sandi Hakala on June 14! Sandi shares the day with Mary Breslauer and Janna O’Shaughnessy.  On the 15th, we celebrate Judy Pizzella and Kerry Quinlan-Potter. Birthday hugs to Kathryn Townes, Corinna Black, and Gayle Poggi on June 16. Happy anniversary to Rob and Amalie Loyot on June 17, and birthday hugs to Natalie DeHaro, Anne Caldwell, Rita Barbosa, and Ava Castro. On the 18th, we celebrate Rachel Araujo, Jeff Burnett, and Sir Paul McCartney.

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If you have any Oak Bluffs Town Column suggestions, email Joanne Lambert, joannelamber@gmail.com.