I loved every single solitary second of my time in Martha’s Vineyard. Dre, a good friend of mine, and I descended upon the Vineyard with the delirious joy of toddlers on sugar. We both knew of the long history of it being the spot for the black elite to vacation, and couldn’t wait to see if that was the truth.
We were not disappointed. I would bump into a black person on the street, or on the bus, and suddenly we were exchanging information and jokes like we were long lost friends. Aside from quality time with Dre, I had fun with my newfound acquaintances.
One minute I met a group of black people on the beach; the next I was folded into the heart of the group, spending all my time with Roxana* and Diana*, who promptly asked me about dating in Western Mass.
“I meet a lot of drug dealers, actually. It’s so unfortunate because I’m always looking to spend time with my kind of black people.”
One of the gentlemen hooted with laughter. “Your kind of black people? Are we your kind of black people?”
As it turned out, they were. Over the next two days, I partied with them excessively. There were a lot of shots of Patron, a dangerously wicked rum punch, a discussion about the black church and Muslims and gay rights, a loud proclamation about the superiority of Biggie, and a hilarious game of Taboo at one of the best cookouts I’ve been to in a long time. The crew graciously picked me up and dropped me off in impossibly nice cars. The gents made important calls to important people (which, lets be honest, I can’t tell you too much about. What happens on the Vineyard stays on the Vineyard).
We made several trips to a club where EVERYBODY danced–a white man Crip walked, and older black people with grey hair boogied to R. Kelly right next to the 21 year olds. Roxana and Diana and I ran to the dance floor and, despite our degrees and feminism, loudly recited all the words to “F-in Problems.”
And after the after party, the gents smoked hand rolled cigars in massive backyards while talking about natural hair and football with pretty girls on their arms…
…and some of the girls indulged as well.
The Lighthouse Keeper (long story), told me that water seeks its own level, and he was right. I felt comfortable with the crew because I never had to act like someone I wasn’t. I never had to act ashamed that I was getting a PhD, or that I read too many books, or hide that I struggle with dating because I always meet men who don’t understand what I do. The men and women I met were all super important in their own right; a casual Google search would, I’m sure, show them on lists of the most influential in their respective fields. Yet, they were down to earth, humble, and kind, despite their ridiculous good looks and great jobs.
The Vineyard is, in short, magical. It’s dang near impossible to get to. It’s a playground for all the black people who have worked so hard to be successful.
And last week, it was our playground.
*Fake names to protect those vacationing.
This post is dedicated to the gent who constantly teased me about a particular Madonna song. He knows who he is.