Maine University sets up fellowship to honor Black legislator


Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 9/17/2019, 3:30 p.m.
A Maine university is honoring the state's first African..

A Maine university is honoring the state's first African American legislator through a new three-year fellowship.

The Portland Press Herald reports the University of Southern Maine is creating a new teaching fellowship dedicated to examining race in honor of 87-year-old Gerald Talbot. Talbot attended the March on Washington in 1963, when Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.

He also served as president of Portland's NAACP chapter in 1964, when it was reestablished after a five-year hiatus. Talbot was also instrumental in passing Maine’s first law protecting fair housing and human rights. Talbot was first elected to Maine’s House of Representatives, representing Portland, in 1972.