Blue as the Lake: A Personal Geography

Robert Stepto
September 1998

Blue as the Lake maps out an African-American landscape unique in American literature. From Idlewild, the black resort on Lake Michigan where he vacationed as a child with his grandparents, to Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard, Robert Stepto traces a history of generations finding and making a home. His family lore careens through American history- we meet a black regiment in World War I; legendary jazz musician Coleman Hawkins, and Inabel Burns, pioneering feminist and great-granddaughter of slaves.

Beautifully and intimately rendered, Stepto’s memoir is a stunning meditation on what it means to be American.