The Obamas, the Vineyard and Class

How the first family's vacation spot became the go-to summer destination for African Americans.

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Lisa Davis, a successful attorney, said that her grandmother first began going in 1963, when her family purchased a home on the island. Davis said that her fondest memories consist of "family cookouts on the beach in Aquinnah or Chappaquiddick, watching my uncle and older cousins fishing." She called the Vineyard "the place where I'm known not just as Lisa Davis but as Gwen and Arnold's daughter, Iris' granddaughter, Alex and Sylvia's cousin."

Similarly, Shanta Sullivan, an actress whose family has been vacationing there for 40 years, since her childhood, said that going to the Vineyard is "an opportunity to reunite with family and some of my dearest friends."

Bob Hayden said that ultimately, that is what likely draws the Obamas: the chance to relax with friends and family without some of the social pressures that accompany his day-to-day presidential life. Although some have been said to grumble at the disruption the first family brings to the island, with the Secret Service and overzealous fans, Hayden said, "I relish their being here."

He's not the only one. Mattox said that her kids dream of enjoying a playdate with Malia and Sasha Obama. "The great thing about the Vineyard is there is this equal mix of peace and calm and serenity," she said. "But especially when the Obamas come, there is some excitement in the air."

Keli Goff is The Root's special correspondent. Follow her on Twitter.

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Keli Goff is The Root’s special correspondent. Follow her on Twitter.

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.