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Image by: Photo illustration by Kate Philbrick. 

Malaga Island: A Story Best Left Untold

From: Rob Rosenthal
Length: 58:39

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(NOTE: This program was updated in 2012 for the 100th anniversary of the eviction.) In 1912, the state of Maine evicted a mixed-race community from Malaga Island. It was an act of racism, eugenics, and political retribution. The eviction impacted generations of island descendents -- many remained silent, until now.

Pc-4_copy_small In 1912, the state of Maine evicted a mixed-race community of about forty-five people from Malaga Island, just off the coast of Phippsburg. It was an act of racism, eugenics, and political retribution.

Eight islanders were committed to the Maine School for the Feeble-Minded. The rest managed as best they could. The state moved the island school to another island. Then they dug up the graves and reburied the remains in the graveyard at the Maine School.

The Malaga community was erased.

For generations, descendents feared to speak about what happened to their families because of the local stigma of mixed-blood and feeble-mindedness.  Others in Phippsburg would rather forget the incident - a story best left untold, some say.

This is that story.

Piece Description

In 1912, the state of Maine evicted a mixed-race community of about forty-five people from Malaga Island, just off the coast of Phippsburg. It was an act of racism, eugenics, and political retribution.

Eight islanders were committed to the Maine School for the Feeble-Minded. The rest managed as best they could. The state moved the island school to another island. Then they dug up the graves and reburied the remains in the graveyard at the Maine School.

The Malaga community was erased.

For generations, descendents feared to speak about what happened to their families because of the local stigma of mixed-blood and feeble-mindedness.  Others in Phippsburg would rather forget the incident - a story best left untold, some say.

This is that story.

2 Comments Atom Feed

Caption: PRX default User image

Interesting.

A bit off the beaten path as far as style.

Caption: PRX default User image

nice piece

Nicely done. How do I see the photos? I will check out the website.

Terry Foss

Broadcast History

This program was updated in 2012 for the 100th anniversary of the eviction. It received a 1st place award from the Maine Association of Broadcasters in 2009.

Musical Works

Title Artist Album Label Year Length
Frame Kaki King Legs To Make Us Longer. Sony 2004 :00
You Don't Have to Be Afraid Kaki King Until We Felt Red. Velour 2006 :00
Soft Shoulder Kaki King Until We Felt Red. Velour 2006 :00
Alexander's Ragtime Band Arthur Collins and Byron Harlan public domain. :00
Six Days at the Bottom of the Ocean Explosions in the Sky The Earth is Not A Cold Dead Place. Temporary Residence 2004 :00
Can I Be Forgiven? Gustavo Santaolalla 21 Grams Soundtrack. Varese Sarabande 2003 :00
Did This Really Happen? Gustavo Santaolalla 21 Grams Soundtrack. Varese Srabande 2003 :00
Homesickness Blues Nora Bayes That Devilin' Tune: A Jazz History (1895-1950) Vol. 1. Music and Arts Program 2006 :00
Memorial Explosions in the Sky The Earth is Not A Cold Dead Place. Temporary Residence 2006 :00
Ahuvati Kaki King Until We Felt Red. Velour 2006 :00
Your Hand in Mine Explosions in the Sky The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place. Temporary Residence 2006 :00

Additional Credits

Kate Philbrick, Project Photographer
James Hoban, Project Web Designer

Related Website

http://www.malagaislandmaine.org