Hat tip:The Black Snob

Oak Bluffs Residents Bite Back At Toure’s New York Mag Story
Friday, July 24, 2009 at 9:00AM

And they said that wasn’t THEIR lives at Martha’s Vineyard writer Toure was penning for New York Magazine last month. In the article he talked about black self-segregation and how some residents of Oak Bluffs and Martha’s Vineyard wouldn’t be interested in the First Family because the Obamas were “off the people” and Michelle Obama was a “ghetto girl.” Stay classy, that one.

Well, naturally not everyone in Oak Bluffs was pleased with how Toure portrayed their little hamlet.

More after the jump.

(T)he overwhelming view of a large number of Island residents, seasonal and year-round, black and white, is that the piece, published June 21 under the headline Black and White on Martha’s Vineyard, was desperately unfair and wrong.

Thus Abigail McGrath, of Oak Bluffs, drafted a letter of response to the magazine and circulated it among her Island friends for their signatures.

It was quite a letter.

“My family has lived on the Vineyard for seven generations and I don’t recognize MY Vineyard in the article, Black and White on the Vineyard, written by Mr. Touré,” she began, then went on to condemn its “appalling inaccuracies which misrepresent the Island in a divisive way.”

She went on to bet “a free week in my Oak Bluffs house” that if the author were to interview any of the “heavyweight” blacks mentioned in the piece, “not to mention many whites, residents and visitors, each would question the accuracy of this article.”

And indeed this week when the Gazette contacted some of the people mentioned in the article — and others who were not — they did, in the strongest terms.

Here is the complete article.


Since we had so much fun discussing the original article, I thought I would bring up this rebuttle.

I also thought we would get into a discussion about Blacks and Class because of that Tuxedo Ball dustup on Black In America. I remember Dr. Myles from another documentary on Class – People Like Us.

And, how can we have a discussion on class without Jack and Jill.

Here’s an article from Lawrence Otis Graham on the 70th Birthday of Jack and Jill.

Jack & Jill Turns 70

LAWRENCE OTIS GRAHAM reflects on the significance of the revered organization and why it’s still important today


During my childhood, I believed that the only black kids who became successful adults were the ones who had grown up in Jack and Jill. No one had actually ever said this to me, but circumstances led me to this rather obnoxious conclusion. When I attended the 1974 Jack and Jill of America, Inc. convention in Los Angeles with my parents, I saw children of the hosting chapter being driven from the affluent hillside neighborhoods of View Park and Baldwin Hills in Cadillacs, Mercedes, and Rolls-Royces with “MD” and “DDS” license plates.

When I was a high school sophomore I met dozens of J&J teenagers at the annual Copacabana Christmas party in Manhattan who had already lined up summer internships on Wall Street. And when I moved into my freshman dormitory at Princeton, I wound up living across the courtyard from three Jack and Jillers, one of whom was the daughter of Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz. I always had the sense that the J&J kids were not just well-heeled, but that they had life all figured out.

And Now…

This is why I have one answer for black friends who ask me today if they should try to get their kids into Jack and Jill: You’re insane if you don’t.

As a third-generation member of this great 70-year-old institutuion, I have six reasons why parents should want their children to be a part of this invitation-only service organization:

It exposes them to positive black experiences that build their self-esteem.
It brings them into a social network that will carry them from childhood to adulthood.
The J&J “Up the Hill” yearbook creates a great network for their college years.
You and your kids will get to meet the most accomplished blacks in your city.
J&J’s charitable and social service programs will teach your kids how to give back to others who are less fortunate.
It sponsors academic and cultural activities that prepare children for the real world.

Rest of article at link above.

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