Vermont has one of the smallest African-American populations in the country. The state’s African-American population is one of the lowest in the nation. Roughly .7% of the state’s population is black. And census projections don’t expect the number to increase very much over the coming decades. In such a small state, and with such a homogenous population, what is the experience of being an African-American like today’s Vermont, and how has it changed over the decades?
Willi Coleman is a former University of Vermont Professor, who then became director of the university’s ethnic studies program, and vice provost for multicultural affairs. Amani Whitfield is the current UVM History Professor and author of Blacks on the Border, the Black Refugees in British North America. They spoke with VPR’s Mitch Wertlieb about the the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the African-American experience in Vermont, and how it’s changed over the decades.