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As this year’s Sampson Center exhibition makes clear the powerful desire to find historical inevitability in the advance toward equal opportunity for all Americans has become far more nuanced by the sometimes discomforting reminders that advances at the ballot box are neither as clear-cut nor as unconditional as we once hoped. The ancient antipathies of racism, anti-Semitism, and homophobia are not so easily elided by political campaigns and elections. The pace of social consensus requires a degree of patience and continuing attention that tries the very fabric of American life while we attempt to comprehend the consequences of change wrought by our heightened understanding of the implications of diversity in American life.

Table of Contents:

Introduction (Selma Botman, USM President)

Quiet Revolution: A Tally of Black Victories (Bob Greene, for the African American Collection)

Is It Good for the Jews? Is it Good for Everyone? Maine Jewry between Civic Idealism and the Politics of Reality (Abraham J. Peck, Scholar-in-Residence for the Judaica Collection)

From the Closet to the Ballot-Box: Electoral Politics and Maine’s LGBT Citizens, 1970s to the Present (Howard M. Solomon, Scholar-in-Residence for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Collection)

Publication Date



Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity at the University of Southern Maine


Portland, Maine


Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity, University of Southern Maine, African American, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Judaica, Voting, Politics, Robert Talbot, Ernest Butler, Harold E. Richardson, William D. Burney Jr., Benjamin Zolov, Maine Ku Klux Klan, An act relating to discrimination on account of race and religion, An Act to End Discrimination, Susan Farnsworth, Maine Won’t Discriminate, Concerned Maine Families


African American Studies | American Studies | History | Jewish Studies | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Diversity at the Ballot Box: Electoral Politics and Maine's Minority Communities, Post-WWII to the Present