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NAACP Portland Branch: Four Decades Fighting for Civil Rights in Maine
The NAACP was formed as a nonprofit, nonpartisan civil rights organization in 1909 by a multiracial and multi-religious group who came together partly in response to the horrific practice of lynching.
The first president of the organization, Moorfield Storey, was a white constitutional lawyer and former president of the American Bar Association. Through his leadership, the NAACP began its long legal campaign to end segregation and established a legacy of fighting legal battles to win social justice.
Maine’s first NAACP branches were organized in Portland and Bangor. One of the reasons for organizing was to contend with the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), an organization that boasted tens of thousands of Maine members. The first KKK parade in the United States was held in Milo, Maine.
1940s & 1950s
Branches were formed throughout Maine with a strong presence in Brunswick and Lewiston. Due to limited resources, many could not be sustained and several closed including branches in Portland and Bangor.
In 1964, days before Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s first and only visit to Maine to hold rallies in Biddeford and Brunswick, the Portland branch was reformed by a multi-faith group under the leadership of Gerald E. Talbot. It has been active to date operating as the largest branch in the state and representing Maine at the regional and national levels.
In late 1980s a branch was formed at the Maine State Prison located in Thomaston then chartered again in 2003 after the prison was moved to Warren.
NAACP Portland Branch
P. O. Box 18198
Portland, ME 04112
If you need further assistance, please contact Rachel Talbot (207) 809 - 9170.