Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Novels, United States on 2010-03-05 18:12Z by Steven

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

Clarion Books an Imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
224 pages
Trim Size: 5.50 x 8.25
Hardcover ISBN-13/EAN: 9780618439294 ; $15.00
Hardcover ISBN-10: 0618439293

Gary D. Schmidt, Professor of English
Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Winner of the Newbery Honor and Printz Honor.

It only takes a few hours for Turner Buckminster to start hating Phippsburg, Maine. No one in town will let him forget that he’s a minister’s son, even if he doesn’t act like one. But then he meets Lizzie Bright Griffin, a smart and sassy girl from a poor nearby island community founded by former slaves. Despite his father’s-and the town’s-disapproval of their friendship, Turner spends time with Lizzie, and it opens up a whole new world to him, filled with the mystery and wonder of Maine’s rocky coast. The two soon discover that the town elders, along with Turner’s father, want to force the people to leave Lizzie’s island so that Phippsburg can start a lucrative tourist trade there. Turner gets caught up in a spiral of disasters that alter his life-but also lead him to new levels of acceptance and maturity. This sensitively written historical novel, based on the true story of a community’s destruction, highlights a unique friendship during a time of change. Author’s note.

Read a book review by the 7th grade students at Bath Middle School in Bath, Maine here.

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Malaga Island’s place in Maine history preserved

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, History, New Media, Social Science, United States on 2010-03-05 17:57Z by Steven

Malaga Island’s place in Maine history preserved

The Times Record
Published: 2009-08-18, 18:08Z

Seth Koenig, Times Record Staff

PHIPPSBURG — The site of perhaps the most striking case of racial injustice in Maine history was the focus of a Saturday ceremony aimed at preserving the land and its lessons for future generations.

Malaga Island, off the coast of Phippsburg, has never been a lavish resort community. But that was what state leaders envisioned as a future for the island in 1911 and 1912, when they set forth a calculated plan to forcibly displace a community of poor, largely black or mixed-race people who lived there.

On Saturday, representatives of Maine Freedom Trails Inc., the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Maine Coast Heritage Trust joined archaeologists, historians and descendants of evicted island residents to announce that the 41-acre island has been added to the Maine Freedom Trails’ list of significant places…

Read the entire article here.

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Malaga Island: A Story Best Left Untold

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States, Videos on 2010-03-05 16:51Z by Steven

Malaga Island: A Story Best Left Untold

WMPG-FM (Portland, Maine) and The Salt Institute

Rob Rosenthal, Radio Producer

Kate Philbrick, Photographer

WMPG-FM, in collaboration with the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, announces the premier of “Malaga Island: A Story Best Left Untold”, a radio and photo documentary recounting this infamous event and its impact on several generations of descendants. The documentary is produced by Kate Philbrick, photographer, and Rob Rosenthal, radio producer.

On July 1st, 1912, George Pease took a short boat ride over to Malaga Island, just off the coast of Phippsburg, Maine. Pease landed the boat then probably stood on the shell-covered beach at the north end of the island. What he found may have surprised him.

Pease went to Malaga that day as an agent of the state of Maine. It was his job to carry out the final steps of a state-sponsored eviction. Pease was there to clean out the island – to make sure everyone who lived there was gone and to burn down their houses. But there was no one there. Malaga was empty.

Malaga is a small island, about 40 acres. It’s covered with tall pine and spruce trees, the shores are rocky – it’s really a “textbook” Maine island. No one lives on Malaga today but, in 1912, there was a village of about 45 people. A few of the families had lived on the island for decades raising children and scraping a living from the ocean. Malaga was home.

The settlement was poor and families struggled – like most fishing communities on the Maine coast one hundred years ago. What made Malaga different was the people. Black, white, and mixed-race families lived on the island. And that set them apart. Far apart…

…And, descendants of the evicted islanders have largely remained silent, too. The local stigma of mixed-blood and “feeblemindedness” attached to the island and descendents is still present – even today. In fact, some say Malaga is a story best left untold…

Read the entire article here.
View a short video here.

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