Retired journalist and genealogist Bob Greene is scheduled to give an online talk about “Black History of Maine” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, hosted by Camden Public Library. Contributed photo

Retired journalist and genealogist Bob Greene is scheduled to give an online talk about “Black History of Maine” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, hosted by Camden Public Library.

The free online program is part of the library’s month-long “Discover History” series.

It is frequently said that Maine is the whitest state in America, according to a library news release. Yet Black people have a long history in the Pine Tree State. Not just as slaves, but also as builders, farmers, fishermen, ship captains and educators.

The first Black lawyer in the United States passed the bar exam and practiced in Portland. Dr. Antonius Lamy, described in a 1672 court document as “Anthony, a Black man,” may have been Maine’s first doctor. It’s that hidden history of our state that Greene will reveal.

A native of Portland, Greene is the eighth generation of his family to be born in Cumberland County. His roots in Maine stretch back into the 1700s.

After graduating from Portland High, Greene went off to college and a career as a journalist. He has met three presidents: Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.

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As tennis writer for the Associated Press, Greene traveled the world covering the sport. After retiring, he returned to Maine where his genealogical research has led to his deep knowledge of Maine’s Black history. He teaches a Black History of Maine course at OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) at the University of Southern Maine.

Greene is the 2021 recipient of the Maine Historical Society’s Neal Allen Award, which is presented each year for exceptional contributions to Maine History.

To learn more and register to attend, visit librarycamden.org. For more information, contact Julia Pierce at 207-230-4703 or [email protected].

Discover History Month at the Camden Public Library is sponsored by Camden Riverhouse Hotel & Inn, with additional support provided by The Smiling Cow.

 

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