Friday, July 16, 2010

In Maine, a whispered apology for Malaga

The new issue of Down East is out, including my piece on the Maine legislature's incredibly low-profile formal apology for the state-sponsored Malaga Island evictions in 1912. How low profile? It happened back on April 7, and I'm "breaking" the news right now.

The piece is now online, so I'll let you read there about how the racially-mixed community was wiped from the map, the conspiracy of silence that followed, and the legislature's whispered apology this spring.

The piece also contains what I understand to be the first gubernatorial statement of regret for the incident, provided by Governor John Baldacci within hours of querying his office as to why the issue had been left to the legislature in the first place, since the 1912 evictions were orchestrated by one of his predecessors.

If you want to learn more about Malaga, you can hear Rob Rosenthal's radio documentary, Malaga Island: a Story Better Left Untold, while viewing images from his Salt colleague, Kate Philbrick. (The full text of the legislature's April resolution is available as a PDF at their website.)

[Update, 7/24/2010: There's an editorial in this morning's Bangor Daily News on this issue.]

[Update, 9/14/2010: Maine does the apology right the second time around.]

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Colin. I've spent a lot of time in Phippsburg & Sebasco, and follwoed this story for quite awhile. I'm glad to read that the Legislature acted, and thanful to you for letting ue know.