Black Girl in Maine | Anti Racism stories and Perspectives on Race

Since 2008, Black Girl in Maine has been a place for articles and stories on societal, cultural, educational, and even inspirational topics. From humble beginnings as a venue for a transplanted “Chicago girl” and Black woman to document and share her tales of life in one of the whitest states to a growing media site featuring anti-racism education and additional voices with their own perspectives on race, current events, and more. Explore, absorb, and—like founder Shay herself—learn how to make a difference in the world.

Latest Stories:

Racists and allies: Strange bedfellows

By Shay | February 5, 2023

We are living in strange times—a time where very few people are willing to stand on their beliefs. Instead, equivocation is what’s hot in the streets, even when it comes to being anti-racist or even naming racism. Apparently, words no longer have meaning, or maybe it’s just the natural consequence of the watering down of …

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Racists and allies: Strange bedfellows

By Shay | February 5, 2023

We are living in strange times—a time where very few people are willing to stand on their beliefs. Instead, equivocation is what’s hot in the streets, even when it comes to being anti-racist or even naming racism. Apparently, words no longer have meaning, or maybe it’s just the natural consequence of the watering down of …

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Recent Stories:

The cognitive dissonance of Black History Month

By Shay | February 4, 2023 | 0 Comments
Abstract image of a face, screaming, fractured and in multiple modes and pieces reflecting anger or distress

Entering Black History Month this year, the words that come to mind are cognitive dissonance. On the surface, it appears as if Black people in the United States have come a long way. We had a Black president, our current vice president is Black—hell, she’s an HBCU grad and a member of one of the …

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Black cops, white minds

By Shay | January 29, 2023 | 0 Comments
A police officer cap on small tabletop

I was six years old. It was March 13, 1979. My father took the oath to become a Cook County, Illinois, deputy sheriff. It was a decision that, for a Black man born and raised in Arkansas under Jim Crow to a family with little in the way of material resources, promised to be the …

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Turning 50: A Black woman’s thoughts

By Shay | January 20, 2023 | 1 Comment
Close-up view of top of a birthday cake in a dark room, focusing on the candles including a sparkler candle

In a culture that worships at the altar of youth, my enthusiasm about turning 50 (a mere 72 hours from when I’m writing this) may seem strange. I mean, 50 is old, isn’t it? Or at least well along the way to “old.” And who the hell wants to be old? Despite what society tells …

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Connections and understanding

By Shay | January 7, 2023 | 5 Comments
Blurred image of man's face behind clear foreground image of his glasses held in his hands far out from his face

Whether you are an active scroller or user of social media sites—or consider yourself too good for the likes of TikTok or Twitter—there is no denying that social media has reshaped our world, down to the very way that we access information. Today’s journalists frequently break stories and find leads and sources on Twitter, or …

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Current Events Stories:

Anti-racism work is not charity work

By Shay | December 28, 2022

If 2020 was the year of the great racial awakening, then 2022 was the year of the great racial unraveling and a return to the racial status quo. It was the year where even Democrats stoked the flames that calls for defunding the police were leading to increased crime rates (that’s not how it works, …

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I have a confession

By Shay | December 23, 2022

When my then-husband and I moved to Maine in 2002, the plan was to only be here for eight years. As soon as my son turned 18, and I no longer needed to be in the same vicinity as his father, I would be free to leave Maine. I’d be gone. For sure. Definitely. Oh, …

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What’s your anti-racism action plan in 2023?

By Shay | December 11, 2022

Hold on a sec…putting on my hat. My hat as executive director of Community Change Inc (CCI).  Why am I wearing this particular metaphorical headgear today? Well, just as I was getting ready to write this piece, I saw something disturbing and telling. I was scrolling on Instagram in the morning, when I came across …

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Black Girl in Midlife

By Shay | December 4, 2022

Recently a disgruntled reader left a comment on my personal Facebook page telling me that I am self-absorbed and not doing anything for the Black people of Maine. Initially, I was pissed off but upon further reflection, I realized that I am in a stage of my life where from the outside, I probably do …

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Gen Z voted to save themselves—good for them

By Guest Poster | November 21, 2022

By Liz Henry My daughter had been planning what she wanted to wear to the polls for a few days: a black “I heart hot moms” T-shirt, fuchsia peace symbol earrings the size of toaster waffles, and wide-leg pants with a purple-ish sheen.  Whatever gets her excited, I thought.  It’s unclear just how many younger …

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Do you see Black women as humans?

By Shay | November 17, 2022

Thanks to the good folks of Generation Z, marginalized folks, and Black and brown folks, we staved off the worst predictions of a red wave and kept democracy from completely flatlining for another two years. However, the House of Representative did fall to GOP control, which is a huge blow to progress. And with the …

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Leaning how long racism has been harming white people, too

By Samuel James | November 6, 2022

My co-producer Florence Edwards and I have spent the last 18 months or so working on a podcast. It’s called 99 Years and it’s a Black exploration of the deliberate creation of the whitest state in the nation: Maine. It debuted a few weeks ago and there are three episodes out so far, so please …

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When it’s not white people’s time to talk

By Heather Denkmire | November 2, 2022

One of the most important lessons I’m learning when it comes to undoing racism in myself—and in my racial justice work in the larger world—is that there is not simply one set of rules I can start following. As much as we white people—those of us committed to antiracism, at least—want to learn and do …

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