Blacks have lived and worked in Maine as early as the seventeenth century, but historically have constituted less than 1% of Maine's population. Probably for this reason, books on Blacks in New England have largely ignored the experience of African American Mainers. "Black Bangor" is the first major published study of a Black community in Maine. Topics in the book include not just migration patterns, work, and religious and cultural organizations, but also African American homes, furniture, clothing, and foodways. The book also explores race relations and depictions of Blacks in the local media. By Maureen Elgersman Lee. Paperback, 177 pages.
This first comprehensive book on Maine’s black history is a mosaic of early history, slavery, the Underground Railroad, arts, sciences, law, politics, civil rights, education, religion, military, and sports. Forty-two contributors write about black families |and communities. Black men and women have been integral parts of Maine culture and society since the beginning of the colonial era. Indeed, Mainers of African descent served in every American conflict from the King Philip's War to the present. However, the many contributions of blacks in shaping Maine and the nation have, for a number of reasons, gone largely unacknowledged. Maine's Visible Black History now uncovers and reveals a rich and long-neglected strata of state history and proves a very real connection to regional and national events. Drawing on the excellent writing of contributors Herb Adams, William David Barry, Beverly Dodge Bowens, Stephen Ellis, Leigh Donaldson, Bob Greene, Douglas Hall, Charles L. Lumpkins, Reginald Pitts, Marcia Robinson, Geneva McAuley Sherrer, Helene Ertha Vann, and others, the project covers many facets of history including slavery in Maine (which lasted until 1783), work, religions, family, education, military service, community, social change, arts and science, sports, politics, law, civil rights, underground railroad, and the contributions of individual men and women. There are appendices, resources for students, and an index. The book's extraordinary illustrations document black life from Aroostook County to York County through the centuries. Authors/Editors Price and Talbot, with the many contributing writers, are owed a lasting debt. They have given us a substantive, often poignant volume that deserves a place on every Maine bookshelf. Never again will anyone seriously suggest that black people have played little or no role in the development of Maine. B&W photographs and drawings. Paperback. 429 pgs.
The entry of African Americans into traditional medicine in the United States is one of the least-known chapters in history. Their involvement in the medical care of the United States Colored Troops during the American Civil War is also little known. This book provides the first documentation of medical school graduation for a number of African American physicians prior to the Civil War and discusses the entry of African Americans into medical practice. Also told for the first time are the stories of twelve physicians who served with the Union Army during the Civil War. Nine men were appointed acting assistant surgeons, one was commissioned assistant surgeon, and two were commissioned surgeons. Of this group, Alexander Thomas Augusta, MD, was the first African American to be commissioned as a major in the Union Army. 2006 paperback, 52 pages.