Martha's Vineyard Basketball: How a Resort League Defied Notions of Race and Class

Martha's Vineyard Basketball: How a Resort League Defied Notions of Race and Class

by Bijan C. Bayne


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Year round on Martha's Vineyard Island off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, residents and vacationers have played basketball-almost since the game was invented. The Oak Bluffs summer league on the Island was innovative, ethnically diverse, welcomed female players, and fostered thousands of friendships. President Obama, NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving, and Family Matters sitcom star Jaleel White have all played basketball on Martha's Vineyard, as did future college stars, authors, war heroes, and entrepreneurs. Their stories touch current events from World War I through the Civil Rights Movement-and even include the filming of the blockbuster Jaws.

Martha's Vineyard Basketball: How a Resort League Defied Notions of Race and Class follows the rich history of basketball on the Island and tells the stories of the players and coaches themselves. During the heyday of Martha's Vineyard basketball in the 1970s and '80s, the courts provided a place for friendships that looked past social class and race-a unique situation given that nearby cities such as Boston were sites of violent demonstrations against integration. Original interviews with those who were there not only reveal the racial dynamics on Martha's Vineyard, but also relate amusing anecdotes of encounters with celebrities that include Charles Lindbergh, James Cagney, Frank Sinatra, and future star James Taylor.

Martha's Vineyard Basketball reveals little-known aspects of the Island, shares the realities and triumphs of residents and vacationers alike, and demonstrates the unifying power of basketball. New Englanders, basketball fans, and those interested in race and class relations will all find this book a noteworthy account of a singular place.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442238961
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 03/16/2015
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Bijan C. Bayne is an award-winning Washington-based freelance columnist and critic and a founding member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Boston Herald, and SLAM, among others. Bayne is the author of Sky Kings: Black Pioneers of Professional Basketball, which was named to the Suggested Reading List of the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Wil Haygood
Preface: The Courts: A Summer Love Affair
Chapter 1 The Poorest County in Massachusetts
Chapter 2 A Love of the Game
Chapter 3 They Are Your Basic Schoolyard Ballplayers
Chapter 4 "Those Kids Can Play!"
Chapter 5 The Jaws Years
Chapter 6 The Black Vacation Haven
Chapter 7 Friendships Before Facebook
Chapter 8 The Hog Call and "No Form Norm"
Chapter 9 "That's All There Was to Do in the Winter"
Chapter 10 Coming of Age
Chapter 11 Seasons of Change
Afterword: A Look Forward and Backward
Commonly Used Terms: A Vineyard Basketball Glossary
About the Author

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