Two American towns, white and black towns in Maine and Tuskegee, Alabama became sister cities back in 2017 and they have continued to celebrate their racial healing. The journey to racial healing started in 2016 when residents in Maine identified a way to play a significant role in putting an end to the racial problems tearing the nation apart.
We knew that depending on media, movies, and stereotypes was not a good way to broaden our understanding of African-Americans or heal 400-year-old divides.Amy Miller
South Berwick residents made a search for a town that has a similar size and was dominated by African-Americans on Wikipedia. The residents were glad when they discovered that Alabama and Tuskegee were on the list.
They were aware of its rich history which includes the Tuskegee Airmen. The South Berwick residents were hopeful that Tuskegee would give a positive response to their request. Their municipal council adopted the sister city relationship in April 2017.
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A year after that, nine Maine residents traveled down to Tuskegee to formalize the relationship and give it a person-to-person meaning. Maine residents revealed that they were welcomed well, they received red carpet treatment and got personal tours. They ensured they had serious discussions of racism in the country.
The Mayor of Tuskegee and eight other residents traveled north to see the Atlantic coast, eat lobsters, and then spend four nights in homes of strangers in South Berwick, that happened in the Spring of 2018. The school district of Berwick made an effort to influence young people by inviting Tuskegee historian Guy Trammel to spend some days in their schools.
The Tuskegee Guy stayed in the librarian’s home and met with town leaders, teachers, and community members. South Berwick built a good relationship with Tuskegee. The Maine town that homes nearly 7000 people carried out a Sister City Solidarity walk via town and this attracted 300 people, including the police chief.
This walk ran a full-page advert in Tuskegee News. Two journalists, one from Tuskegee and one from South Berwick now write and publish a joint column in both hometown newspapers every other week.