Looking for non-white folks who live in Maine as well as working class folks in Maine

In light of a discussion that started on this blog a few posts ago, I would like to ask any folks who live in Maine who are either non-white or who hail from working class or even more humbler roots to consider doing a guest post here at Black Girl in Maine.

One of the reasons I started this blog last year was because as I like to joke it was cheaper than therapy but also I was interested in connecting with others….in the past year, I regularly get emails from folks particularly people of color who are either contemplating a move  to Maine or folks who recently moved here who are in a daze…

Maine has this amazing reputation outside of New England of being a place of lighthouses, lobsters and leisure. Yet those of us who make are home know there is so much more to our state, but at the same time its a place where there can be a lot of ugliness if you are not white or poor. I will say that the first 2.5 years here were the hardest in my life, the only reason I stayed is because my position back in Chicago had been filled and I had no place to go back to, otherwise we would have left most likely.

Anyway I know there are a few folks who lurk here on a regular basis and I would encourage you to share your stories about Maine. Oddly enough BGIM started off as a predominiantly Black blog but it seems my demographics are shifting and because of that I think there is great potential fo a dialogue that can be beneficial for all.

Black folks and Twitter…we are everywhere

Excuse me for being a tad late on this but with all that’s happening locally, its taking me a while to catch up on world happenings. Anyway Sunday night the BET awards were on, I won’t even go into what a mess they were other than to say, I don’t care what they say they have planned, I will pass the next time. However something interesting emerged, seemed a lot of Black folks were tweeting about the festivities at BET and some folks got mad about it…check this out, you can also feel free to do a Google search on the matter.

Seems a few folks were bothered by the fact that the trending topics the other night were the BET awards and were a tad pissed that all things Black seemed to be taking over…seems that social media like so many other things are no  longer the sole domain of white people. Shit, even the White House is no longer inhabited by white folks!

Seriously, all jokes aside I think this is great, for years folks have been quick to point out there is a digital divide that is leaving poor folks and people of color out in the cold. Yet with the price of technology steadily dropping, it seems access to the information highway is now being made available to everyone and while I am irritated to hear folks bitching about so called Black topics, its nothing in comparison to the fact that more folks have access to information.

I must say when I first heard this story, I did get a tad pissed…no offense to my white readers and friends but as a Black woman who spends a lot of time around white folks, you have no idea how often I have been on the listening or reading end of subject matter that frankly bored me to tears. Yet I sucked it up, its part of living in a diverse and increasingly more inclusive society….we get exposure to all sorts of things.

In hearing about this story, I was reminded of a quote by Audre Lord     I Like this quote I dislike this quote“The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house”….while the masters tools may not dismantle the masters house, we most certainly can say that using the masters tools will create change. Change that will make us all reexamine how we look at the world. As for the few idiots who tweeted their irritation about the trending topics perhaps next time they would feel more comfortable on a discussion board for Stormfront or some other racist organization…after all in cyber space you have no idea who you are engaging with and now the world knows you are a bunch of idiots but you will hardly deter folks like me from venturing into this brave new world of social media.

The Real Maine

It’s been busy around my parts the past few days, on a personal note elder boy has arrived home for the summer which is always cause for celebration at my house as you can imagine. Seems like just yesterday he was a wee lad like his sister, now he is almost a legal adult with facial hair who drives…where does the time go?

On a professional note, the community that I work in was visited by crime and I have been working to deal with the impact in our community. Which brings me to today’s theme…the real Maine. I love reading blogs, especially fellow bloggers who live in Maine. Maine is the type of place that its easy to romanticize, after all when you think of Maine, images of beaches, lobster and all things nice seem to come to mind. Its very common for people to see Maine as this simple and beautiful place to live filled with good times, good people and even good thrift shops.

Yet maybe its because of my line of work but I see a side of Maine on a regular basis that is not nice. In fact its downright cruel, I often compare my work in the inner city of Chicago as not being much different than the work I currently do. I work in a community where the poverty level exceeds fifty percent, where many families face financial insecurity on a regular basis…yet this same community is only mere minutes away from people with great abundance, yet the two communities might as well be thousands of miles away as the folks in the two communities never mix and probably never will.

Yesterday morning as I started my day reading about amazing thrifting in Maine (by the way while there is amazing thrifting in Maine, most of it occurs at antique marts, our basic thrift stores are not bad but frankly the ones in Chicago were better), than I heard this story. In case you aren’t prone to reading the link, its about a crazy Negro who for years has been terrorizing folks in this town who decided to kill a couple of brothers the night before. Yes, I called him a crazy Negro….I have encountered this man and he is ape-shit crazy, though I had no idea just how dangerous he was, I generally went out of way to not have to make contact with him when I saw him on the street.

For the past day, everyone has come out with a story about this man, even the mayor of this town found this man to be crazy and scary. I must admit part of me wanted to laugh, how the hell does one Black guy in a predominantly white town in the whitest state in America get to terrorize folks for almost two decades and never spend much time in the joint despite the fact everyone thought he was a walking time bomb? Part of me wants to say it was political correctness gone awry…but the truth is I don’t know.

Like others I am saddened that lives were lost, though I wonder what made these two young men decide to egg this man on considering his reputation was well known, I figure it had to be youth. When we are young we don’t see the dangers we see when we get older and can look at things more clearly.

Maine despite being known as a lovely place sadly suffers from the same ills as any other place, in fact some of the ills may be worse because of the rural nature of the state. For those who are financially well off it can be a wonderful place, sadly its a place where many often work two and three jobs to make ends meet. This is a condition that is not limited to folks with no education or those people….in Maine even the educated often find themselves working hard to make ends meet, though class makes people use fancy words to dress it up.

So while Maine is nice, I leave you with a snapshot of what the real Maine looks like…as for that crazy Negro Rory Holland, I suspect he won’t be beating the rap this time which is just as well since while diversity is nice, crazy dangerous folks wandering the streets isn’t good for any of us.