The Cosmopolitan Review
YVONNE DELANEY MITCHELL | 8/30/2018, midnight
People are slowly pouring back into the city as the 2018 summer vacation days are about to come to a close. This return, however, was not before one last bash hosted by Walter Braswell at his Martha’s Vineyard home.
Among the throngs were Sheryl Henry Douglass, interior designer Stanley Stutley, Gwynne Wilcox with mom, Dr. Susan Wilcox, Walter Lowe and Cheryl Wills, Kendell and LaVerne Flowers and others too delighted to mention. Missing from the Vineyard this year were Ann Patrick and Tina and Patty Page, and we weren’t sure whether Bert and Michele Belasco made it this year. Sigh!
Topping off the social scene was the eighth annual Martha’s Vineyard Literary Brunch. Held at—where else?—Lola’s Island Inn. The literati met to hear this year’s selected writers speak about their latest tomes. The morning began with a welcoming introduction by Corbert Narcisse, managing director and head of International Wealth Management, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management; Sandra L. Richards, managing director and Head of Global Sports, Entertainment & Segment Sales and Engagement Group, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management; and Dawn L. Davis, VP and publisher of 37 Ink, an imprint of Atria and Simon & Schuster, Inc. Appearing were Beverly Bond, author of “Black Girls Rock!: Owning Our Magic, Rocking Our Truth”; Nafissa Thompson-Spires, author of “Heads of the Colored People: Stories”; Tayari Jones, author of “An American Marriage: A Novel”; and Kwame Alexander, author of “The Crossover.”
Each author took the podium to a robust round of applause, giving a brief synopsis of the book, along with a dash of philosophy. Thompson-Spires earned a Ph.D. in English from Vanderbilt University and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Illinois. She’s “smart and super funny.”
Jones shared that “small acts of kindness aid the creative process.” She seeks to find where the story is in a conflict when both sides are right.
Bond proved to be forceful and determined as she had the audience ask one another, “What is your superpower? What is your Black girl magic? I answered that question by saying, “Simply being Black.”
Alexander, who attended with his wife Stephanie, enthralled the audience with stories from his time as a student at Virginia Tech. Recalling the days when his English teacher was Nikki Giovanni and told him, she found him “uninteresting.” Today, they are the best of friends.
The event concluded with a Champagne toast and book signing. Everyone left looking forward to the ninth literary brunch. Thank goodness for Labor Day. That holiday makes the transition just a little bit easier—just a little bit.
There is still plenty to look forward to as we embark on, dare I say it, the fall season. One of the latest must-haves is the Culture Pass, which provides free admission to some of the city’s most fascinating cultural habitats. The pass makes it easy to borough hop throughout the city: There is the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Queens, Wave Hill public garden and cultural center in the Bronx and the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling in Harlem, just to name a few.