Keywords: Black Americans
The Black Guards were African American Army soldiers, members of the segregated Second Battalion of the 366th Infantry sent to guard the railways of Maine during World War II, from 1941 to 1945. The purpose of the Black Guards' deployment to Maine was to prevent terrorist attacks along the railways, and to keep Maine citizens safe during the war.
The history of the region now known as Maine did not begin at statehood in 1820. What was Maine before it was a state? How did Maine separate from Massachusetts? How has the Maine we experience today been shaped by thousands of years of history?
Black soldiers served in Maine during World War II, assigned in small numbers throughout the state to guard Grand Trunk rail lines from a possible German attack. The soldiers, who lived in railroad cars near their posts often interacted with local residents.
… the treasurer of the Portland Fish Co., Arthur Black was in Washington D.C. with a delegation to plead for aid for the fishing industry.
Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12, Postsecondary
Content Area: Social Studies
This lesson presents an overview of the history of the Black community in Maine and the U.S., including Black people who were enslaved in Maine, Maine’s connections to slavery and the slave trade, a look into the racism and discrimination many Black people in Maine have experienced, and highlights selected histories of Black people, demonstrating the longevity of their experiences and contributions to the community and culture in Maine.