“Beauty is but skin deep, ugly to the bone. And when beauty fades away, ugly claims its own.”
In 1907 Boston, Dorothy West was born into one of the first African American families to own a summer home on Martha’s Vineyard. West spent her childhood summers in Oak Bluffs, and lived the second half of her life in a cottage there. It was in Oak Bluffs that she wrote her first and most well-known novel, The Living is Easy. At the time of her death in 1998, West was the last living member of the “Harlem Renaissance,” a group of African American writers, musicians artists that had a significant impact on American culture in the 1920’s and 30’s.
The Dorothy West residence stands on Myrtle Avenue in Oak Bluffs. Though the house is not open to the public, visitors will encounter a plaque in honor of Dorothy West on a stone in front of the residence.