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 home >> Civil Rights History Project >> Survey of Collections and Repositories >> Collections >> Collection Record

The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

NAACP and civil rights in Maine collection

Repository: University of Maine. Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History

Collection Description (CRHP): These interviews explore the civil rights movement, racial discrimination, and race relations in Maine with a particular focus on the NAACP. Topics include labor unions, the Ku Klux Klan, Jewish involvement in the civil rights movement, and the experience of being black in Maine. These oral histories cover a wide range of time, from the 1940s up to the time of the interviews.

Gerald Talbot: his involvement in the NAACP, his activism in the Maine civil rights movement, and the subject of being black in Maine. (4 hrs)

Jean Simpson: her involvement in the NAACP and race relations in Maine as well as the civil rights movement. (45 min)

Anita Talbot: the civil rights movement in Maine. (30 min)

Stephen and Judy Halpert: involvement in Portland, Maine in NAACP during and after the 1960’s; what NAACP has accomplished; brief discussions of what life was like for Jewish Mainers in Portland; race relations and discrimination in Maine. (2hrs)

Elizabeth and Peter Jonitus: involvement in Central Maine NAACP; its origins and activities; race relations in Maine in comparison to other parts of the country; various forms of racial discrimination; their thoughts on the Maine Human Rights Commission. (3hrs)

Sterling Dymond, Jr.: former Maine NAACP president (1970-1973). Topics discussed include history of the black community in Bangor, race relations in Maine, establishment of the NAACP Bangor Chapter (1940’s and 1950’s) the KKK, unions in Maine. (2hrs)

Dr. David Smith: history professor at the University of Maine, discussing his involvement with the black community and the NAACP in Maine. (2hrs)

Beverly and Willard Callender: their participation in the organization of the Portland chapter of the NAACP. They discuss a wide range of issues relating to race relations in the state in the 60’s and 70’s. (3hrs)

Donald Fisher: the Lewiston / Auburn and Portland chapters of the NAACP in the 1960’s. (2hrs)

Dr. Esther Rauch: Vice-President of Bangor Theological Seminary, who gives her views on race relations in Maine. The interview gives an “outsider’s point of view” on the current status of race relations in Maine. (1hr)

Birger Johnson: Congregationalist minister and one of the first presidents of the Portland chapter of the NAACP. (45 min)

Leonard and Mary Jane Cummings: involvement with the Portland chapter of the NAACP. This is a continuation of Lumpkins’ project that traces the history of the NAACP in Maine (165 min)

J. Duff Gillespie: former president of the Bangor Chapter of the NAACP, about his experiences with the organization, covers race relations in Maine (1hr)

Access Copy Note: The Maine Folklife Center Archives may be accessed by appointment only.

Date(s): 1990-1991

Digital Status: No

Extent: 13 transcripts; audiocassettes (circa 25 hours)

Language: English

Interviewees: Gerald Talbot, Jean Simpson, Anita Talbot, Stephen Halpert, Judy Halpert, Elizabeth Jonitus, Peter Jonitus, Sterling Dymond, Jr., David Smith, Beverly Callender, Willard Callender, Donald Fisher, Esther Rauch, Birger Johnson, Leonard Cummings, Mary Jane Cummings, J. Duff Gillespie

Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights


African Americans--Maine
African Americans--Relations with Jews
Civil rights movements--Maine
Civil rights workers--Maine
Ku Klux Klan (1915- )
Labor unions
Maine--Race relations
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Race discrimination--Maine


Sound recordings


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   September 26, 2018
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