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- DescriptionBlacks have lived and worked in Maine as early as the seventeenth century, but historically have constituted less than one percent of Maine's population. Probably for this reason, books on Blacks in New England have largely igred the experience of African American Mainers. Black Bangor is the first major published study of a Black community in Maine. This tightly woven case study examines the African American community in Bangor during its heyday, 1880-1950, the period that saw an unprecedented migration of Blacks to that city. Blacks migrated to Bangor t just from other New England states, but from the Caribbean and Canadian Maritime Provinces as well, creating a heterogeneous community with roots in two hemispheres. Constituting an ultramirity in Bangor (according to the census, Blacks never numbered more than 300 souls during this period), this diverse community netheless came together to establish an impressive range of institutions, including local chapters of the NAACP and Odd Fellows, as well as of Mothers and Junior Mothers Clubs. Concentrated in an area kwn as the Parker Street neighborhood, Black women in Bangor became domestics and cooks, caterers and beauticians, clerks and stegraphers. Men worked as loggers, teamsters, porters, chefs, and barbers; a few owned businesses. Organized thematically, with sections on migration, labor, daily life, and community, Black Bangor's topics include t just migration patterns, work, and religious and cultural organizations, but also African American homes, furniture, clothing, and foodways. Elgersman Lee also examines race relations and depictions of Blacks in the local media, and draws comparisons between the experiences of Bangor's African American population and those of Blacks in other New England cities. This fascinating and exhaustive study will appeal to anyone from Maine, as well as those interested in African American history and the rich texture of the region's cultural life.
- Author BiographyMAUREEN ELGERSMAN LEE is Associate Professor of History and Faculty Scholar, African American Collection of Maine, at the University of Southern Maine. She has served as curator for several exhibits on African American history in Maine at the University of Southern Maine, Lewiston-Auburn College, and Bangor Public Library.
- Author(s)Maureen Elgersman Lee
- PublisherUniversity Press of New England
- Date of Publication05/10/2005
- SubjectHistory: Specific Subjects
- Place of PublicationHanover
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintUniversity of New Hampshire Press
- Content Note36 illustrations
- Weight313 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine13 mm
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