Editor’s Note: The Maine Monitor is pleased to share the podcast “A Better Life?,” as a media partner. This episode focuses on the immigrant experience of COVID-19 in Maine. The podcast is a product of a Feet in 2 Worlds, a project of the New School in New York City.
Maine has one of the lowest rates of coronavirus infection in the country, but Black residents of Maine are at a disproportionately high risk of becoming infected by COVID-19. A new episode of Feet in 2 Worlds‘ podcast series “A Better Life?” released on Oct. 8 examines the reasons for this disparity, the widest of any state. The episode, “Black Immigrants in the Whitest State,” focuses on Maine’s rapidly growing African immigrant population, and why Black Mainers are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus.
The episode explores the connection between the pandemic and economic disadvantages experienced by Black people in Maine, notably migrants from African countries including Somalia, Angola, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In conversations with two prominent Mainers of African descent, we look at Maine’s history of racial discrimination, including hate crimes and police abuses committed against Black people, as well as Maine’s historic connections to the Ku Klux Klan, beginning in the 1920s.
“A Better Life?” is hosted by Zahir Janmohamed and produced by Mia Warren. Both Janmohamed and Warren are the children of immigrants. Janmohamed lives in Portland.