The Civil Rights Movement in Maine: Background information when reading Promise

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A Novel

by Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Promise by Rachel Eliza Griffiths X
Promise by Rachel Eliza Griffiths
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  • Published:
    Jul 2023, 336 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Gabriella Harrison
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About this Book

The Civil Rights Movement in Maine

This article relates to Promise

Civil Rights activists in MaineRachel Eliza Griffiths' debut novel Promise is set in Maine at a time when the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s was spreading to that state. Racial tensions were rising as white folks who resented calls for equality began viewing the presence of Blacks, no matter how few, as a threat to their existence.

Although racism in Maine might have been more subtle than in many other states, it was still expressed through the constant reminder of Blacks' second-class citizenship that denied them rights, including access to equal housing and employment. Black students also experienced ridicule from teachers who felt Blacks didn't deserve to attend the same schools as white folks.

With the post–World War II arrival of Black military personnel in areas like Bangor and Portland and the spread of the Civil Rights Movement across the country, resistance to segregated USOs (United Service Organizations) and other types of discrimination intensified. The Greater ...

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