Diaspora Journey Project Fall 2016

October 15th, 2016 by admin Categories: Brasil, Cameroun, Cuba, Featured, Field Study Research, Martha's Vineyard No Responses
Diaspora Journey Project Fall 2016

Recently we realized that our 20th anniversary is 2018!

Now is the moment to create something significant and special to celebrate.

Earlier this year I enjoyed my virgin trip to the Motherland with a visit to The Cameroon.

Douala, Bwassalo, Bafoussam, Bandjoun, Bayangam, Yaounde, Kribi, Limbe and Bimba, it was a milestone indeed.

Since then there have been visits to Cuba, Tacoma, Seattle, Martha’s Vineyard and New York.


Over the course of these trips and many conversations, my tribe has kept me thoroughly engaged and inspired.

One especially memorable chat was with my sisterfriend Joye.

She shared with me that as travelers we do not engage in any type of retreats.

That we Sisters are forward thinkers, and therefore we travel for Advances.

The purpose of travel is for advancement.



Enlightened by this outlook, came the birth of the Diaspora Seasonal Advances 2018.

Diaspora Seasonal Advances are travel projects that explore, practice and restore African Diaspora cultural ties for Afrocentric people.

Offering intelligent, responsible African Diaspora travel in community.

We make space to enjoy culturally meaningful group travel experiences.


The 2018 Diaspora Seasonal Advance Project will happen at minimum, once per season and twice in summer.

Each Diaspora Seasonal Advance covers one region significant in African Diaspora history.

The idea is to visit fun and interesting destinations.

A few destinations where we are making plans to contribute to the conscious global vibe.

Africa – Cameroon

Caribbean – Cuba

South America – Brasil

North America – American Beach FL, Sullivan’s Island SC, Martha’s Vineyard MA.



Update with details for the 2018 Diaspora Seasonal Advances will get posted here in January 2017.

Adventurous Journeys




Ready for this next project.

Thought, care and attention to the details of this journey

Will prove a wise investment.















This is Africa.

This is Africa.

Martha’s Vineyard 2016

January 26th, 2016 by admin Categories: Destinations, Martha's Vineyard No Responses

Martha’s Vineyard 2016 Schedule



Thank You for your interest in Cinnamon Traveler theme oriented group adventures on Martha’s Vineyard.

We were the first to offer intelligent, comfortable and informative sightseeing tour adventures on Martha’s Vineyard Island.

Since 1998 our touring method has helped many Vineyard travelers and day visitors to successfully understand the lay of the land.  

We are accepting group Reservations for the 2016 season.

Please choose from any of the themes offered below.

Vintage Tour Excursion on Nantucket Sound

Vintage Tour Excursion on Nantucket Sound


ALL ISLAND CULTURAL TOUR -New England styled soul. This tour includes points on the Martha’s Vineyard African American Heritage Trail, contemporary venues, local folklore, maritime history, coastal views, magnificent landscapes and the colorful clay cliffs of Aquinnah. Explore and learn about the African Diaspora presence. Includes photo ops and visits to all Six Island Towns.


EASY LIVING TOUR -Lighthouses, galleries, local folklore, coastal views, magnificent landscapes and the colorful clay cliffs of Aquinnah. An examination of year round Island living on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Includes photo ops and visits to all Six Island Towns.


YOGA SPA ON THE BEACH -Weekend excursion of a la carte spa treatments, stretch and gentle yoga sessions, mixed with the natural beauty, calm and solace found in idyllic Up Island settings. 


Offering a enlightening glimpse of the Island before your visit, “Onward To Recife: Cinnamon Traveler Insider Guide to Martha’s Vineyard” the definitive Island guide book, is available now. This vintage Vineyard Guide includes great African Diaspora New England maritime history, easy walking tours, with information about the best Island beaches, lighthouses and weathervanes. The cost is $4.95, plus shipping.

Martha’s Vineyard Insider’s Guide $ 4.95 & shipping

To order a book, or learn more information about scheduling details, send an email to MV2016@cinnamontraveler.org, Attention: MV Excursion Planner. A reply should arrive in your inbox within 48 hours. 

November 28, 2014 – The Grind

November 28th, 2014 by admin Categories: Atlanta, Destinations, Feria del Libro, Martha's Vineyard, Mobile, Public History Programming, Random No Responses
The Measure: November 28, 2014 Back from the Woods, firmly in the saddle and on my Grind. Drawing inspiration from 2003 and to my delight 2010! Setting forth anew #Oracle #WritersLife #WritingSchedule #Adherence #Obedience #Embrace

The Measure: November 28, 2014 – HOME
Back from joyously wandering the Woods.
Now firmly in the saddle and on my Grind.
Drawing inspiration from 2003 and to my delight 2010!
Acknowledging measures of progress, illuminates the way.
#Oracle #WritersLife #WritingSchedule #Adherence #Obedience #Embrace

November 2, 2013

November 2nd, 2013 by admin Categories: Martha's Vineyard, Mobile, Random No Responses
The Measure: November 2, 2013 All Souls Day Everybody's got a right to live a life under the Sun.

The Measure: November 2, 2013
All Souls Day
Everybody’s got a right to live a life under the Sun.
Martha’s Vineyard African American Heritage Trail

Cinnamon Traveler Jump Off – Jan. 1, 1998

August 24th, 2010 by admin Categories: Featured, Martha's Vineyard, Random 2 Responses
Cinnamon Traveler Jump Off – Jan. 1, 1998

Cinnamon Traveler jumped off in August 1997, at a dining room table at a Cable Beach restaurant in Nassau, Bahamas.  Basically at first, just the idea of  “Cinnamon Traveler” was discussed. 

At the time I was hanging tough with a friend that had a boat and they operated “clean” i.e. non-alcohol, half day snorkeling adventures around Providence and Paradise Islands in the Bahamas.  I was inspired by the ingenuity and frankly it seemed like a relatively easy prospect for making a living.  Not to mention it appeared to be a lot of fun. So there we were all together, my friend and their friends, enjoying each others company on a Friday evening in Nassau, the food was good and the beverages were oh so very nice.

Well you know how it is when people from different places get together… Bellies full, all comfortable and things, everyone on their semi-best behavior, while carefully getting to know one another;

Blah, blah, blah, Floss, Flex and Impress.  Yada, yada, yada.

You know how it goes.   So yeah, I too was All Smiles, Looking Fly and Getting It In.

The reason that New Yorkers have the reputation for being direct and upfront is because where we are from, you have to say what you mean and do what you say.

If you lie, you will be outed.

And if you lie too much you will be outed, ousted and ostracized. PERIOD! 

Sounds rough, but not really, It ‘s just how it goes.

Hence, I had to get back to New York to make my…ahem, “idea” a reality.  So in the Fall of 1997, I pitched the “idea” to the Managing Editor of Our Time Press, Bernice Greene and she supported, encouraged and made sure that I brought Cinnamon Traveler to life.

After much guidance, research, writing and prayer, Cinnamon Traveler was born January 1, 1998. For five months through May 1998, Cinnamon Traveler appearred in Our Time Press, as a destination based travel review column. 

January 1998 “Martha’s Vineyard; February 1998 “National Association of Black Scuba Divers, Nassau and PI”; March 1998 “Sag Harbor”; April 1998 “Weekend Getaways From New York”; May 1998 “Virginia Beach”.

June 1998 “U.S. Virgin Islands” was published online at the original version of the Cinnamon Traveler website.

Also in June 1998 we surrendered to the pull of MV, began Cinnamon Traveler Vineyard Tours full time and were living on Island in a two bedroom Up Island guest house. Within less than 12 months from the time that the idea was created, I had become a full-time corporate defector, had dragged Señor and Cool Papa out of Brooklyn to become Vineyarders, year round.  Fortunately, Big Papa stayed behind and held it down in Brooklyn, so that we would always have a place in New York, whenever we needed to go, “Back Home.”

Over the last decade the family has grown, our base of operation has changed and some Island businesses have subsequently become, points in history.  Yet despite the passage of time, our allegiance to the Vineyard remains surprisingly strong.

To my extreme delight, earlier this year I found an archived copy of the first column at the Our Time Press website. Naturally I immediately executed a copy and paste.

So despite the grammatical challenges, contractions and all…

Below is the original essay, which documents how it all began.

*Give Thanks*

Welcome to Our Time Press

From the Desk of… the Cinnamon Traveler Grace Lynis, January 1, 1998 .

It made me leery to learn that my family and the nation’s President would be vacationing on the island of Martha’s Vineyard at the same time.  I already wondered whether the popular New England island familiarly known as the Vineyard was big enough to accommodate my bone-weary family of three, much less Bill with his entourage and the accompanying gridlock.  Fortunately, my concerns were quickly put to rest when I realized that privacy and anonymity are taken quite seriously and afforded to everyone on the Vineyard, from the nation’s Chief Executive to skeptical Brooklynites.

The Vineyard is a triangular shaped island seven miles off the southeast coast of Massachusetts in the Atlantic Ocean. Watersports abound including jetskiing, kayaking, parasailing, swimming, fishing and sailing. Water sporting equipment is usually in good condition and rates are comparable with other seaside communities in the U.S. and the Caribbean.

For landlubbers there are a host of hiking trails, through the Vineyard’s many wooded areas, two wildlife sanctuaries and two campgrounds.  Bicycling is a popular and a major mode of transportation between the islands six towns.  What a pleasure it was to see motorists and cyclists sharing the road cooperatively.  Warning: the Vineyard does not view mopeds as favorably, as accident statistics involving mopeds are high.  Be forewarned and be forearmed.

Driving to the Vineyard was akin to visiting the Caribbean in the comfort of your own car sans the hassles of customs. While there I experienced feelings of safety and grounding rarely felt elsewhere, sort of  a shedding of arms.  As a parent I felt more secure permitting my son to hang out with friends.  On the Vineyard,  the notion of hanging in the street changed to being outdoors.  As an urban parent this subtle transformation felt liberating.  If you’ve ever felt this lightness, you know what I mean.  I’m certain that the early African-American visitors to the island felt this same way. As one of the first U.S. resort communities to welcome African-Americans, the thriving communities have burrowed deep roots into Vineyard soil.

The rich African Diaspora history of New England makes a culture-focused vacation very rewarding.  Massachusetts alone has at least three African American heritage trails, one on Martha’s Vineyard, contributing greatly to the states historical mosaic.  Public records from as early as the 18th century attest to the wealth of history represented by the extensive heritage and culture of African-Americans on the Vineyard that continues to this day.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Paul Robeson and Ethel Waters are only a sampling of distinguished visitors of the recent past who enjoyed the island.  Today’s Black celebrities continue to appreciate the comforts of the island including Shaquille O’Neal who’s been sighted practicing his game on the basketball courts on Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs and Angela Davis seen relaxing on the calm shores of Vineyard waters.  African Americans have also been land owners for many generations including author Jill Nelson a member of this community since the 1950s and Film Producer Spike Lee has enjoyed the tranquility of his home on Martha’s Vineyard for several years.

A few of the many African American contributions to Vineyard life from both the past and present are captured and celebrated in the African American Heritage Trail.

The self guided tour was researched and designed by the Vineyard’s NAACP vice-president Carrie Tankard and local historian Elaine Weintraub.  The nine stop trail begins in Menemsha, where in 1854 Randall Burton a fugitive from enslavement, with the help of the Wampanoag, succeeded in escaping to Canada and freedom.  In the town of Oak Bluffs it’s believed that Methodism was brought to the island by John Saunders and his wife sometime after their arrival to the island in 1787.  After purchasing their freedom from bondage in Virginia they traveled to the Vineyard, where Saunders preached occasionally to the people of color at Farm Neck.  There is a rock in the Farm Neck area known as Pulpit Rock where Saunders spread the word of God.  At the time of this printing contributions have been raised for the dedication of a plaque to be placed at Pulpit Rock.  Also included on the trail are the homes of Dorothy West, the longest surviving Harlem Renaissance writer and the 19th century home of the Vineyard’s only known African American whaling captain William A. Martin.

Although more welcoming than in other parts in the U.S., life for those of African descent on the Vineyard was not without discrimination and prejudice, as exhibited by the strange position of the headstone on the grave of Captain William A. Martin.  Relative to the other headstones, his faces the wrong direction.  Surrounded by forest on three sides and the sea on the fourth, upon entering the grounds, the Captain’s was the only stone that was not immediately identifiable.  After thorough research for a Native or African American custom dictating its direction, it became apparent that its position was a result of prejudice against African ancestry.  Overcoming the constraints of racism was Charles Shearer a man born into slavery in Appomattox Virginia.  After emancipation and graduation from Hampton Institute, Shearer bought a home in Oak Bluffs that was used originally as a laundry business.  Built in 1909, Shearer Cottage became the first African-American owned inn where African Americans could stay.  In the early part of this century, it became the center of African American culture on the Vineyard, complete with a summer theater that included plays and events enjoyed by the entire Vineyard community.  The Shearer Cottage continues to welcome guests each summer and in August 1997 hosted the dedication for the installation of the first plaque on the African American Heritage trail.

In addition to New England style soul the island has a kaleidoscope of natural attractions. Beyond the famous Inkwell, the Vineyard is surrounded by the ocean and literally has beaches at every turn.  Each town has at least one public beach which has its own special characteristics and charm.    One of my favorites was Moshup Beach in Aquinnah.   Lying at the foot of clay cliffs, Aquinnah is Up island, on the islands southwest tip.  Its name means land under the hill in the language of the island’s First Nation, the Wampanoag.  Aquinnah was the original home of the Wampanoag who have continued to maintain their culture and heritage on the island.  An active tribal council is part of the island’s government and politics.  Aquinnah is also known as Gay Head, describing the radiant, rainbow-like range of colors of the clay cliffs.  Like many oceanside areas, Aquinnah is being eroded by the sea and environment.  To preserve its majestic cliffs, as a national monument, restrictions on vehicular traffic and other measures have been enacted.  A fee paid parking lot is located on the plateau of the cliffs from which a 3 mile scenic foot path descends to the beach.

Day Trips

Cape Cod: Whale watching off the coast of Cape is a great day trip. Take the ferry to Woods Hole on Cape Cod.  About a handful of operations offer different whale watching cruises. Prices vary based on the services provided.  Check the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce for specifics.

Nantucket Island is also only a day trip away. A 10:00 a.m. ferry leaves Oak Bluffs daily for a two hour 15 minute ride that arrives just in time for lunch.  After lunch visit the African Meeting House at York & Pleasant Streets and then the Nantucket Whaling Museum, where I understand some of the history of the hundreds of African American seaman is exhibited.  If there is time left browse or shop in the island’s art galleries and craft shops until the last ferry leaves at around 4:00 p.m. 

Getting There

Driving from New York you can get a ferry to the island in either Woods Hole or New Bedford MA.  Cape-Island Express Lines (508 957-1688) provides ferry service to Vineyard Haven from New Bedford for passengers only. That ferry line operates a fee paid lot where you can park your car on the mainland for the duration of your stay. Steamship Authority (508 477-8600) provides ferry service from Woods Hole to both Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs and they also operate a fee paid parking lot on the mainland or you can make reservations for your car to be ferried with you to the Vineyard.  Reservations are suggested during off season and are absolutely necessary during summer season.  Mail-in registrations are accepted between 1/15/98 – 2/15/98 and phone/fax registrations accepted after 3/1/98.
Bonanza Bus Lines (800 556-3815) provides bus service from New York Port Authority to Woods Hole, MA, where you can get the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard. Yellow Bus (508 693-1589) and a handful of taxi companies cover the island satisfactorily.

Where to Stay

Inns:  Although there isn’t a directory of African American inns there are several including the Shearer Cottage (508 693-4735) in Oak Bluffs, the first African American owned guest house  where African Americans could stay on the Vineyard.  Twin Oaks Inn (508 693-8633) in Vineyard Haven is owned and operated by Doris & Jay Clark. The four-room guest house is opened year round and included in Twin Oaks property is a one bedroom apartment with private entrance and around the corner is a 3 bedroom house. Currently living on the Vineyard year round, Doris is always familiar with what is happening culturally on the island.

Day Trips

African American Heritage Trail: is a self guided tour that can be done by car or if you are an avid bicyclist can be done as a bicycling one or two day trip. If bicycling check the bicycling web-site listed below and check maps and guidebooks for accommodation details.  Plaques have been placed on two of the nine stops of the trail and in addition to proceeds from the sale of the booklet African American Heritage Trail of Martha’s Vineyard fund-raising is in progress to furnish the remaining plaques.   To purchase copies of the booklet $5.00 or to get details about the trail write Carrie C. Tankard, P.O. Box 626, Oak Bluffs 02557 or call the  508 693-2797 Chamber of Commerce for information on whale sighting operators at 508 362-3225.

Seen and Heard: MV 2010

August 20th, 2010 by admin Categories: Martha's Vineyard, Mobile, Random One Response



Real talk with Cool Papa and we went all around the map to include; His thoughts on First Lady Michelle Obama, the First Family and eye witness  accounts of the Presidential Motorcade, –Down Island Politics, On Island Work Life, Seasonal Excise Tax and for our musical pleasure, “Money” by Pink Floyd.

Many years ago I wrote an essay about Martha’s Vineyard as a vacation Family Oasis.  The Vineyard is diverse and attracts everyone Equally; the poor, the rich, the hard working and the lazy, some who are famous, notorious and plenty who remain unknown. And as well, the dutiful middle and working classes, who have saved the entire year, just for a brief respite On Island away from the pressures of their everyday grind. 

Yes God the Island is a beautiful place and everyone wants to find a way to secure their time under the healing rays of the Vineyard Sun.  Yep just like Roy Ayers sings, “Everyone Loves The Sunshine.”

My schedule may not allow me to be on Island for the entire season but fortunately, some my people surely can.

No doubt, Everything, Is Everything!

*Summer 2010. BLESS* 


Fast, furious, August, the Vineyard, keep up.

August 5th, 2010 by admin Categories: Martha's Vineyard, Random One Response

Daily morning swims “At The Water” in fellowship and praise with the Oak Bluffs Polar Bears starts the day at 7:30 a.m.  All kind hearts and Mermaids are welcome.

I do not know where you reside at year-round, but in my neck of the woods, the treasure of an early morning swim in the ocean is immeasurable…you can’t  beat it with a stick!!!

Not to mention that during the month of August, the Fireworks Show, Illumination Night and the MV County Fair are coupled with Book Signings, Community Forums, Film Festivals, Memorial Scholarship Golf Tournaments and Cinnamon Traveler tours around Martha’s Vineyard, make for plenty of activity choices to occupy your time On Island. 

The bigger more serious question for me is; Can I keep up…you know can I really hang??? 

Everyone who knows me understands that after curfew, I fade and turn into a pumpkin.

Nevertheless I try my best to hang tough but in any case, I remember to drink plenty of water to go along with the copious amounts of delicious red wine.

Because although a hangover can be worked off “at the water”  Hangovers are no fun, especially while mixing work and play during the brief summer break, on the Island in the Sun. 

Avoid Mopeds

Have A Good Time


The Island of Noepe*

August 2nd, 2010 by admin Categories: Featured, Martha's Vineyard, Mobile No Responses
The Island of Noepe*

Making your way to the Island is more than a notion… but once you arrive it is so worth the time and effort. 

Yummy food, the Sand, the Sea and the refreshing Salt Air, combine with Friendly Familiar Faces to make me really pleased to be back On Island for another season.  

So do your thing…one experience at a time…Up Island and Down Island from Edgartown and Oak Bluffs and westward to Menemsha and Aquinnah.

Over the years a lot has changed –the economy.  Yet so much of what is good still remains the same –camaraderie and extensive natural beauty. Ripping, running, swimming and sunning.

When I first checked out these pictures I immediately began singing the lyrics to “Good Times”, by the band Chic.

Happy to find myself On Island. “These are the good times…leave your cares behind.”


*Noepe is the Algonquin name for what is now called Martha’s Vineyard Island.  I have been told that the literal translation is “land amongst swift currents”, later translated to mean “island in the streams.”  The referenced currents and streams recognize the three distinct bodies of water that surround this triangular shaped island.  Vineyard Sound is on the northwest coast, Nantucket Sound is on the northeast coast and the Atlantic Ocean is on the base of the triangle on the island’s south coast.

Vintage Vineyard

August 1st, 2010 by admin Categories: Destinations, Martha's Vineyard, Mobile No Responses

A glorious Sunday spent On Island, lounging and appreciating the “can do” spirit of Vineyard cars, houses and people.  

Late in the afternoon I made my way to Edgartown to see my Papy and have a really smooth cup of coffee. While in town  I sighted this kick-ass mint condition vintage MG.  I believe it was a Spitfire…isn’t it a beauty?  At the same time I had prepped and begun to cook a tasty minimal carbon footprint dinner of  locally grown corn on the cob, spinach tomato salad and organic bird from Morning Glory Farm, for Juliana Irene and me. 

Vineyard Vintage would have it that we would both be On Island from Atlanta at the same exact time.  Completely unplanned  ~ yet very much in divine order, we caught up, laughed, reminisced and marveled at the good fortune of being able to enjoy this peace of heaven, seven miles off of the southeast coast of Massachusetts.

We have planned to meet again tomorrow morning At The Water for Polar Bear Fellowship, breakfast and Cinnamon Traveler Insider’s Guide signing.

Vintage Vineyard recognizes the Glory of the Earth, the Sea and the Goddess. We recycle,  refurbish and reuse all that is good and functional ~ with Style Purpose and Grace.   *Give Thanks*

Vineyard 2010 ~ Ready to Turn on a Dime

July 18th, 2010 by admin Categories: Destinations, Featured, Martha's Vineyard One Response
Vineyard 2010 ~ Ready to Turn on a Dime

Summer 2010 Vineyard

 Rain or Shine

Tour Excursions Twice Daily 

July 26, – August 15, 2010 




Tours are Conducted Daily at 11:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.  Guides meet you in town, at your inn or at the boat.


COST: $19.00 Per Hour, Per guest*

Pick up from your guest house, inn and the ferry terminal is included for all Island Tours.**   

*The Price Quote is for Vineyard Walking Tours and are available for the town center in Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Vineyard Haven and are scheduled daily during the Summer Season and by request year round.

**Martha’s Vineyard is 100 Square Miles in distance, transportation is required to tour all six Island towns.  Island tours have an applicable fuel transport fee, which applies to tours that travel around the Island.


Edgartown, MA

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Adventurous Journeys