Celebrities in Marthas Vineyard

ESSENCE.com roundups Black celebrities who vacation in Martha's Vineyard.
ESSENCE.COM Aug, 26, 2009

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It’s summertime and the living is easy. As the First Family enjoys their holiday in Martha’s Vineyard this week, we take a look at other Black movers and shakers who also enjoy retreating at this popular New England getaway.

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Brooklyn-bred film icon Spike Lee and his family have headed north to the Vineyard for a little rest and relaxation, and he even has a home on the island. While there, he reportedly frequents the Mocha Mott’s coffee shop in Oak Bluffs.

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Once referred to as “the ultimate Washington insider,” Vernon Jordan is a political figure known for racking up QT in Martha’s Vineyard. In fact, before Obama even became Commander-in-Chief, some had given MV the moniker, “The Beltway-By-the-Sea.”

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Of course the mother of all media moguls has spent time at this exclusive vacation spot. Sources claim that Oprah Winfrey, a huge Obama supporter and friend of the family, will also be joining the First Family this week.

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Award-winning journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault is a long-time Oak Bluffs summer resident. [Oak Bluffs is a predominately Black area of MV.] The ESSENCE contributor recently moderated a panel discussion there titled, “Achieving Equality in the Age of Obama.” It was hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

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A highly respected member of academia, Harvard University law professor Charles Ogletree is a Martha’s Vineyard regular. Ogletree is even a contributor to The Martha’s Vineyard Times newspaper.

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Jet-setting newlyweds Beyoncé and Jay-Z are reportedly fans of the New England hideout and just might pop up there this week to hang out with the Obamas. Known for avoiding the paparazzi, quaint Martha’s Vineyard is an ideal vacation location for the private couple.

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One of the nation’s most prominent African-American scholars and friend of the Obamas, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is another Martha’s Vineyard regular. While the island is convenient for those who primarily reside in the Boston area, like Gates, visitors travel from all over the country to vacation in MV.

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Music mogul Quincy Jones has reportedly summered in Martha’s Vineyard. Most folks who frequent the Vineyard fall in love with the quiet and peaceful atmosphere.

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D-Nice, a DJ and budding photographer, and wife Malinda, an actress, just celebrated their first wedding anniversary and have grown fond of the Vineyard. In fact, D-Nice shared pictures on his blog taken at the Vineyard during a recent trip.

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Funny man Eddie Murphy is rumored to have enjoyed Martha’s Vineyard as a getaway from the Hollywood scene.

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BET cofounder Sheila Johnson (pictured here with her current husband, Judge William T. Newman Jr) is a frequent MV visitor.

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A certified trailblazer in the record industry, Universal Motown President Sylvia Rhone feels right at home in the Vineyard.

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White House adviser Valerie Jarrett is yet another high-profile Martha’s Vineyard regular. The longtime friend of the Obamas just dined with the First Family at the Sweet Life Cafe in Oak Bluffs.

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Jill Nelson wrote the book on Blacks in Martha’s Vineyard. Literally. The veteran writer penned “Finding Martha’s Vineyard: African Americans at Home on an Island” (Doubleday). The Vineyard has been her home away from home for most of her life and her tome includes a vibrant collection of personal memories, articles, recipes, and photographs all about Martha’s Vineyard.

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