Rachel Talbot Ross

Mal Leary / Maine Public

A state commission is urging Maine lawmakers to pass more than two dozen bills aimed at easing racial disparities in Maine, and to consider impacts on racial equity when crafting future legislation.

Kevin Bennett / Maine Public

Around the country, governors, mayors and CEOs are responding to the death of George Floyd and the massive outcry from Black Lives Matter by joining protesters, reviewing police policies and pledging to make change. 

A new bill would make major changes to the state's bail system.

Maine Historical Society

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 is part of Maine Calling's coverage of topics relating to Maine's Bicentennial.

Caitlin Troutman / Maine Public

More than 700 people turned out for the 39th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Dinner Monday evening in Portland.  This year's theme was "Race, Sovereignty, and Maine at 200 Years - Where Do We Go From Here?"

The University of Southern Maine has created a new position honoring the state's first African-American legislator. The Talbot Teaching Fellow is named for Gerald Talbot, who served in the Maine House of Representatives from 1972 to 1978. He also worked with the Maine chapter of the NAACP and the State Board of Education.

Office of Gov. Janet Mills

Over the past week, Gov. Janet Mills has signed into law dozens of bills passed by the Maine lawmakers this session. For the two African American members of the Legislature, a pair of bills in particular stand out.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

Hate-related behavior, racism and prejudice are all too prevalent in our world, as we saw in the New Zealand shootings. We look at what the climate is like in Maine, and what can be done to address hate, prejudice and discrimination in our state.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

Nearly 700 people turned out Monday night for the 38th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration sponsored by the Portland chapter of the NAACP.  The sold-out dinner at the Holiday Inn By the Bay featured music, film clips of Dr. King and speeches, including one from Democratic Gov. Janet Mills.

Rachel Talbot Ross

There was more drama and more protests in Washington D.C. Thursday, where hearings continued for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who is denying that he once suggested the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling on abortion rights is not settled law.

PORTLAND, Maine - A New York grand jury's decision not to indict a white police officer in connection with the death of a black man who'd been put in a choke hold has sparked protests across the nation - including Maine.