History of racism in Maine explored



BAR HARBOR — Professor Todd Little-Siebold of the College of Atlantic will discuss racism in Maine history Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. at the Jesup Memorial Library. The talk is part of a series hosted by the Racial Equity Working Group.

“America’s oldest, whitest state is just as racist as the rest of the nation,” event organizers said. “We learn about the hearty colonists and heroic patriots who settled the area — hearing nothing of the theft, rape and murder which they perpetrated.”

Little-Siebold will speak about how stories of colonists and patriots eclipse the racism and violence directed towards the region’s Wabanki people. Maine residents owned slaves and “continue to benefit in the present day from the money earned and the land stolen in the distant past,” organizers said.

Similarly, the stories of the prominent ship captains all along the coast usually emphasize fishing for cod, rather than their central role in the slave trade. Histories of the prominent families in the region also rarely recount the tales of settlers as bounty hunters who captured and scalped native people.

Little-Siebold is a professor of history and Latin American studies and has been teaching at COA since 1997. His undergraduate work in anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst provided his initial exposure to Latin America. Many of his classes explore how power works in society. By looking at varied forms of power in diverse historical and geographical settings, these courses seek to sensitize students to the processes behind the exercise of power.

Contact the Jesup at 288-4245 or mrice@jesuplibrary.org.

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