The Cosmopolitan Review

Yvonne Delaney Mitchell | 8/22/2013, 9:45 a.m. | Updated on 8/22/2013, 9:45 a.m.

A little closer to home, it’s been a very good year on Martha’s Vineyard. Kicking off the mid-season were the annual Oaks Bluffs fireworks. Seen from the porch of the Nelson family with Dr. Stanley, 97; his brother Dr. Howard, 90; documentary filmmaker extraordinaire Stanley [ED NOTE: So there are two Stanleys in the family? What relation is this one to the other? Son? Then is Ralphy the brother of 97-yr-old Stanley or the other one?] with wife Marsha and twins Kia and Nola, age 15 (I’m not giving Marsha’s and Stanley’s ages); and younger brother Ralphy, a professor at Berkley University, the fireworks were spectacular. Sister Jill Nelson was not on the island at the time, but her good friend Lynn Wareham Howell was there with her son. I have plenty to tell you about him at another time, as he is quite an industrious young man.

Also on the island were attendees at the Williams College Networks Milestone Celebration. The planning committee—consisting of Danielle Callaway (’08), Funmi Olsounde (’06) and Asha T. Rhodes-Meade (’05)—did a magnificent job of making it a fun time for all of the alumni.

Beginning with a light hors d’oeuvres welcome reception, the celebration featured tours of the island, the Harlem Fine Arts show, walking tours and a beach blowout at the Inkwell. Such a good time was had by all.

The weekend culminated with a “Road Scholar Summer Classroom: Showcase of Williams Faculty of Color.” [ED NOTE: Should that be “Rhodes Scholar”?] The showcase, which was presented by Vice President of College Relations John Malcolm (’86), featured presentations such as “Maritime Mysteries People of Color and the Sea” by Gretchen Long, associate professor of history and chair of the Africana studies program; “The 1903 Raid on Boston Chinatown: Issues of Race and Class” by Scott Wong, James Phinney Baxter III professor of history and public affairs; “Nobody Dies on the Eve of Their Last Day: Stories of Community Life in a Puerto Rican Funeral Home” by Merida Rua, associate professor of Latina/o studies and American studies; and “Trayvon Martin, Guns and Racial Violence” by Neil Roberts, assistant professor of Africana studies and faculty affiliate in political science.

After the panel discussion, “Teaching and Learning an Overview of the Williams Classroom Today,” moderated by Zach Evans (’12), the attendees were treated first to a reception with a wine bar and hors d’oeuvres, including a delicious ricotta cheese on toast, followed by the clambake buffet, complete with warm towels to wipe your hands after you dissected the tastiest lobsters, corn on the cob, fried chicken and cole slaw. I only wish I had another slice of the homemade pound cake that was served for dessert—yummy. After dinner, entertainment was provided by Abby Dobson (’92), whose melodic voice was all that was needed to cap off a beautiful day. This event was hosted at the home of Elrick Williams (’69), a Harlem boy who let nothing deter him from making it to the top. Thank you for the inspiration.