Changing Franklin Street to the Gerald Talbot Street rather than the Martin L. King Street
Gerald Talbot , born and raised in Bangor, Maine, is one of the most important and prominent people to advocate for the advancement of equal rights in Maine, and is the patriarch of one of the most influential families in the fight for racial justice that the state has ever seen.
Talbot was one of several Mainers to take part in the March on Washington in 1963, which is best remembered for the “I Have a Dream” speech given by Martin Luther King Jr. at the National Mall that day.Following the March on Washington, Talbot was elected as the first president of the NAACP in Portland in 1964, and was a leading advocate in the passing of the Maine Fair Housing Bill and the Maine Human Rights Act during his three term tenure. In 1968, Maine Governor Kenneth Curtis appointed Talbot to a Human Rights task force. Following his service on the Human Rights task force, Talbot was elected as the first African American legislator in the State of Maine in 1972, where he would serve three terms. Among his accomplishments as a State Representative, Talbot introduced bills and conversations on issues such as gun control, the treatment of migrant workers, tribal sovereignty, fair housing, and creating a holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr. He also sponsored Maine’s first gay rights legislation and had the word “nigger” removed from all maps and geographical designations in Maine. He toured the state with an immense collection of historic African American artifacts, visiting hundreds of schools, churches, synagogues, businesses, organizations, and clubs to share it with the people of Maine.
“Gerald E. Talbot has made significant and lasting social, economic and political contributions to the people of Maine and to this nation. His strong moral character coupled with an unwavering commitment to human rights and love for family has given us an American who courageously tells the truth and a champion for equality, justice and peace.”- Americans Who Tell the Truth.