Author: Lawrence Otis Graham

Author Lawrence Otis Graham shares a black experience culture guide to the best of Martha's Vineyard for African-American and all families.

The Ultimate Black Culture Guide to the Best of Martha’s Vineyard

Editor’s note: First published in June 2019. Martha’s Vineyard is well-known as the summer home of the black elite. But really, it’s the summer of home of black heritage, black excellence, and black friends and family. If you’re planning to visit Martha’s Vineyard this summer, what are the best places to see, stay, and dine on the island? Especially if you’re seeking the iconic black experience on Martha’s Vineyard that African-American families have had since the late 1890’s? We went straight to the expert. Author of Our Kind of People, Lawrence Otis Graham, shares the ultimate Black and African-American culture guide to the best of Martha’s Vineyard for families, first-time visitors and more.

Black Panther is Fiction, but Black Excellence is Real

Did you get the inside jokes about race in the film Black Panther? They were all there, lying in plain sight for those of us who grew up black in certain decades and certain kinds of households. As I watched Black Panther with my family on its debut weekend, I found myself making eye contact and laughing aloud with my wife and kids at times during the movie that some of my fellow movie-goers didn’t quite seem to get. It’s the same feeling I have when I watch the TV show Black-ish – with its upscale family of five children who attend private school, and whose parents are professionals. It’s so spot-on with the wry humor that lives in every striving black family that I still can’t believe America has embraced the show so enthusiastically. Like all great entertainment, both of these properties exist on multiple levels – and it feels as if some of the jokes were written just for us: for the members of the black community.

How to Get Your Child into Private School

Getting children into private school is one of the most emotional and potentially stressful endeavors that parents can voluntarily undertake. In our ongoing series here at Dandelion Chandelier, our Luminary Lawrence Otis Graham shares his inside advice and tips on how to achieve your family’s goals while staying sane and keeping your kids that way, too. This is the second of his entries on how to manage the private school application process. In Part 1 of this series, I discussed the importance of applying to schools that seem appropriate for both your child and for your family. In the mad dash to keep up with friends, neighbors and others who talk about the most popular schools or the most rigorous schools, as parents we can lose sight of which school will provide the best curriculum and approach for our child as an individual. This next article will address how to best organize and how to best “present” your child and your family during the application process.  Future articles will tell you what to expect and …

How to Get Your Child Admitted to Private School

It’s that time of year. Private school application time. And you thought Halloween was going to be the scariest thing that would happen to you this month. Think again. Rest assured, you’re not alone. The thought of applying to an elite, selective private day school in the United States strikes fear in the hearts of parents everywhere. New York, Los Angeles, Chicago – there’s no escape. And there are limited ways in which to throw money at this problem. But fear not. As the father of three kids who have been admitted to private day schools (and to New England boarding schools) and having served on the boards of both day and boarding schools, I’ve observed this process firsthand for a while now. While there is no way to make applying for private school completely stress-free, there are some specific steps that you can take, starting now, that will maximize your chances of successfully making your way through the process with a minimum of agita. Over a series of posts, I’ll share what they are.

Black elite Martha's Vineyard

Why is Martha’s Vineyard so Important to the Black Elite?

Why is Martha’s Vineyard so important to the black elite? Generations of African-Americans have spent summer vacation on Martha’s Vineyard. How did that start, and why does Martha’s Vineyard still hold such an iconic place in the lives of black Americans? We went straight to the expert, the author of Our Kind of People. Here, Lawrence Otis Graham explains why many African-Americans and members of the Black elite spend every summer vacation on Martha’s Vineyard.