Blurbs for “Martha’s Vineyard Basketball”

Martha’s Vineyard Basketball is more than a just history of basketball on the hard court and pavement of a small slice of Massachusetts. It captures a place and past time with a depth of detail and feeling that can be summed up in one simple word: love. Karyn Parsons, actor (“Fresh Prince of Bel Air”), writer, and producer

In an era of extreme racial segregation in the 1950s, and racial rage and uprisings in the late 1960s and early 1970s, African Americans and whites came together not by race, but by basketball skill. This is an absolutely fascinating read about a little-known chapter in both the history of Martha’s Vineyard and an unusual example of racial harmony. Martha’s Vineyard has always been a special place for vacationers. Who knew that it was also a special place for basketball players! Dr. Julianne Malveaux, economist and author

Bijan Bayne’s book about Martha’s Vineyard is fascinating and captures the essence of the Vineyard. My wife and I were told about the Vineyard many years ago and have moved from visiting the Vineyard to owning a home in Oak Bluffs. When I think of the Vineyard, I recall meeting and representing Dorothy West there and hearing great stories about Black life on the Vineyard.
Bijan’s book captures the heart and soul of a great place to vacation, relax, read and raise a family. This book is not only a summer delight while relaxing on the beach, but a great read near your fireplace in the winter. Charles J. Ogletree, Jesse Climenko Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

Martha’s Vineyard Basketball Events in 2015

Now that it’s 2015, I’m looking forward to classroom and school usage, readings, book signings, conference appearances, and other events surrounding “Martha’s Vineyard Basketball: How a Resort League Defied Notions of Race & Class”. If you’d like to host, inquire about, or schedule such a program, or home signing, please contact

My e-mail To Congressional Staffer Elizabeth Lauten About Cyber Bullying Obama Girls

Here’s the e-mail I sent Elizabeth Lauten, communications director for Tennessee Rep. Stephen Fincher, about her Facebook criticism of the Obama girls:

Ms. Lauten,

I realize you have issued an apology subsequent to your criticism of both the decorum and rearing of President Obama’s daughters. While an apology is all well and good, my concern is the spirit in which the original critique was levied. I’m not certain why it was your place, given that the president and his wife are parents, and that the White House has a press secretary and communications staff. In any case, your remarks concerning those children, centered around their deportment at public or photo op events, their attire, and the manner in which they were reared. Yet I do not recall similar commentary from the GOP, the Democrats, pundits, or journalists when a grown man, Rep. Joe Wilson, shouted “You lied!”, when former Governor Romney interrupted the president during presidential debates, and answered questions out of turn, when the Bush daughters misbehaved in actual “spots in bars”, or when the Republican vice presidential candidate Governor Sarah Palin, had an unwed daughter who became pregnant out of wedlock. I only cite the latter case, because the daughter in question is now the age of majority, and was since married. But the double standard holds.

Let us leave White House parenting, and all the parenting of minor children of politicians, to their legal parents, be they Kennedy’s or Biden’s. The presidency will change in November of 2016 and January of 2017, by which time the Obama girls will be 15 and 19. Until such time, let us all exhibit a modicum of class, fairness and tact, in long distance judgement of what can only be, from what I have heard the former Lynda and Luci Johnson, the Nixon daughters, and Susan Ford state, can be truly trying years. I also work in media relations, and we must be extra careful in the manner in which we employ social media. The children were not elected.


Bijan C. Bayne