A story of Gerald E. Talbot and an interview with Angela Okafor

Episode 5 tells the story of a civil and human rights activist that helped shape Maine.
Logo for the Maine's Black Future podcast.
The Maine’s Black Future podcast tells the stories of historic Black Mainers and connect the longstanding history to Black changemakers weaving Maine’s Black future today. Graphic by Olivia Martin.

The Maine’s Black Future podcast boldly visits stories of historic Black Mainers and the legacies they carved into the state. Then we connect this longstanding history to Black changemakers weaving Maine’s Black future today!

We define terminology, keep it real, and invite you to connect deeply with Black Mainers creating the future that we want to live in. We showcase Black excellence occurring all over Maine and feature original music production from the GEM CITY Maine collective, throughout.

Host Genius Black opens the fifth episode of the Maine’s Black Future podcast with a brief history of Gerald E. Talbot, civil and human rights activist, Maine state legislator, and author.

Talbot grew up in Bangor and worked a career as a printer at Maine’s largest newspaper. He was the founding president of Portland’s NAACP and Maine’s first Black state representative. He helped shape the state, and has inspired Maine activists for over 70 years.  

headshot of Angela Okafor
Angela Okafor. Photo by Genius Black.

Later in the episode, Genius sits down with Bangor resident Angela Okafor, an attorney, real estate agent and the Acting Community Engagement Director for the Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous and Tribal Populations.

Originally from southeast Nigeria, Okafor brought much of her culture with her, as well as creating culture based solutions for Bangor residents, and across the state.

She is Bangor’s first person of color and immigrant elected to the Bangor City Council, and shared that her Council position was made possible by the work of Talbot and others before him.

The conversation touches on her biggest honors, and her efforts to practice law in the state of Maine. The conversation rounds out with some recognition of allies of Black Mainers, and a peek into her thoughts on Maine’s Black Future.

You can listen below to the episode or you can find it on some of your favorite podcast hosting platforms including SpotifyApple PodcastsiHeart RadioGoogle PodcastsAmazon MusicTuneIn + AlexaPodcast AddictPodchaserDeezerPlayer FM, Listen NotesPodcast IndexGoodpods and Pocket Casts.

Past Episodes

Episode 1: The history of London Atus and an interview with Alfine Nathalie.

Episode 2: The history of Pedro Tovookan Parris and an interview with Junes Thete

Episode 3: The history of John Brown Russwurm and an interview with Adilah Muhammad

Episode 4: A story of Sherman Kentucky Ferguson and an interview with David Patrick

Podcast Series Notes

Maine’s Black Future Podcast is supported by Maine Initiative’s Grants for Change program and receives editing and multimedia support from The Maine Monitor, which also serves as the fiscal sponsor for Maine’s Black Future. 

This relationship also means you can now give your tax deductible gift or donation to the Maine’s Black Future Podcast, via the Maine Monitor. 

Genius Black, or Jerry Edwards, was recently named the 2024 Media Arts Fellow for the Maine Arts Commission. This podcast is funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Theme music produced by Genius Black, composed by Genius along with Bill Giordano on bass and Ben Noyes on acoustic piano.

Podcast recorded, and produced by Genius Black at Portland Media Center, for The Maine Monitor.

Episode References & Links

Maine’s Visible Black History, The First Chronicles of its People by H.H. Price and Gerald E. Talbot.

Gerald H. Talbot Portrait & Biography in Americans Who Tell the Truth: A Collection of portraits & biographies 

Talbot, Gerald “Gerry” oral history interview by Jeremy Robitaille (June 7, 2001), Prepared for the Bates College SCARAB, Lewiston, Maine. 

Angela Okafor – Realty of Maine 

Okafor Law Practice

Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial Indigenous and Maine Tribal Populations 

Mainebiz Women to Watch

Connect with Genius on Instagram.


Genius Black

Genius Black, also known as Jerry Edwards, is a social innovator, entrepreneur, and musical artist based in South Portland, Maine. Naturally a storyteller and motivator, he focuses on collaboration and audio/video production as a craft. Genius curates a collaborative network and collective of musical talent, GEM CITY, driving the intersection of art, culture, and quality of place unique to Maine’s coast. He holds a degree in Africana Studies and an English minor from Bowdoin College. He is the father of two teenagers, 15 and 19 years old. Genius is a media and communications organizer for TheThirdPlace and a proud board member of Portland Media Center.
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