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Recognizing Black History Month in Maine

Recognizing Black History Month in Maine

What can you do to recognize Black History Month? We’ve compiled events and learning resources for you to learn more about Black history in Maine.

Museums
Children’s Museum + Theatre of Maine, Portland:
The Children’s Museum is hosting an exhibit titled “Beautiful Blackbird,” which brings the children’s book of the same name by Ashley Bryan to life. This exhibit celebrates self-expression, diversity in art and storytelling, and community. Additionally, “Black is Beautiful: A Celebration of Artists and Makers” is available on select Wednesdays in February. Different art projects will be offered for each session, offering children the opportunity to explore new materials and methods while learning about ‘trailblazing Black makers and artists’.

Activities
Portland By the Foot:
Portland by the Foot is hosting a Black History Walking Tour through Portland’s Old Port, waterfront, and East End. The tour is 1.5 miles, 2 hours, and $42. You will learn about sites of significance throughout Portland as it pertains to the history of Black Portlanders.

Portland Freedom Trail:
If you’re more interested in a self-guided, free, walking tour, you can access this map and information regarding the Portland Freedom Trail. Maine was a portion of the Underground Railroad getting enslaved people from Kentucky to Canada, often stopping in Portland before heading north to Brunswick Topsham, Augusta, Bangor, or Brewer. The Portland Freedom Tour is a self-guided walking tour taking you through influential sites. The Meetinghouse and 44 Exchange Street are 2 of the better-known stops on the trail. 

Online
Maine Historical Society
In the discussion, “It’s a Family Affair: A Personal Conversation about Black History in Maine,” the panel explores Black history in Maine and panelists share their families’ history and experiences in Maine.

Atlantic Black Box Project
Lunch + Learn: Land and Liberty | The Historic African American Community of Peterborough
The Atlantic Black Box Project explores the history of the slave trade in New England. This virtual lecture with Dr. Kate McMahon of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History + Culture covers the rural African American community of Peterborough, in Warren, ME. 

Yarmouth Historical Society
Historian Bob Greene recorded this lecture for the History Center about Maine’s Black history with a particular focus on Yarmouth.

Resources

Black Owned Maine 
Visit this site for a list of black-owned businesses in Maine to support and check out: https://www.blackownedmaine.com/

Indigo Arts Alliance, Portland
Learn more about this non-profit artist residency and incubator that seeks to promote the artistic development of Black and Brown artists. They host frequent events and encourage relationships with the community. Read more here: https://indigoartsalliance.me/

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