The Executive Committee of the Association of Maine Archives and Museums (MAM) Board of Directors is outraged by the murder of George Floyd of Minneapolis. Many of us in Maine's community of collecting institutions, being keepers and teachers of history, want to make clear that this crime is no isolated incident but part of a generations-long pattern of American systemic racism that has resulted in Black Americans being disproportionately targeted by police, victimized by police violence, and imprisoned by the criminal justice system. The list of victims in recent public memory is frighteningly long: Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Timothy Thomas, and names we do not even know.
Collections held by members of MAM reveal Maine's role in creating the structures of systemic racism that persist today, but they also reveal stories of meaningful change that have originated here.
In partnership with these and other anti-racist efforts, MAM is seeking and prioritizing professional development programming offerings for our members that focus on decolonization and race. Please get in touch if you are aware of professionals in our field who may be able to lead workshops and presentations along these lines.
Museums and archives have a role in bringing to light and fostering dialogue about the persistent violence and economic inequalities within communities of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, in our state, nation, and globally. We are grateful to the leadership of our colleagues at Museum & Race, Society of American Archivists, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture for compiling resources to help us uncover, grapple with, and begin the discussion about the race-related collections we hold in our institutions; please take a look at them:
And to better understand race-relevant history of Maine and the United States:
Thank you in advance if you have any contacts to share for expanding MAM's programming, as described above, and for any other actions you are taking toward social justice.