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Maine's Role in the Slave Trade: Research Uncovers Significant Slave Trading in New England

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Maine Historical Society
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In 1820, the U.S. passed an act that made participation on the slave trade an act of piracy. Yet, dozens of Maine vessels engaged in the slave trade illegally during this period. Thousands of enslaved people were transported and traded, leading to huge profits for slave traders--some of whom were Maine sea captains who are remembered as leading citizens of the day. Much of the millions of dollars from the slave trade funded the growth of New England's economy. We will learn about this troubling period in Maine's history, which has not often been mentioned or understood.

This show first aired January 21, 2020, as part of Maine Calling's coverage of topics relating to Maine's Bicentennial. We are re-airing it as the nation marks Juneteenth.

Panelists:
Kate McMahon, museum specialist, Center for the Study of Global Slavery, National Museum of African American History & Culture
Meadow Dibble, director, Atlantic Black Box; visiting scholar, Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, Brown University

Jennifer walked into her college radio station as a 17-year-old freshman and never looked back. Even though she was terrified of the microphone back then — and spoke into it as little as possible — she loved the studio, the atmosphere and, most of all, the people who work in broadcasting. She was hooked. Decades later, she’s back behind the radio microphone hosting Maine Public Radio’s flagship talk program, Maine Calling. She’s not afraid of the mic anymore, but still loves the bright, eclectic people she gets to work with every day.
Cindy helps produce Maine Public's live call-in show Maine Calling, and sometimes hosts the show—as well as the All Books Considered Book Club. Her first foray into journalism after graduating from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism was to intern with CNN in China in the wake of the Tiananmen Square massacre. She then worked in print journalism over the decades, as a factchecker, writer and editor, with publications ranging from the Los Angeles Times Magazine to the magazine of the National Zoo to a food trends magazine.