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Playlist: Black History Month

Compiled By: KUNM

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Malaga Island: A Story Best Left Untold

From Rob Rosenthal | 58:39

(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.