If you were to visit Malaga Island today, you’d probably assume that it’s never been inhabited by humans.
However, the 40-acre island off the coast of Maine used to be home to an interracial community of about 45 people. In 1912, they were forced to leave the island because of racism, a eugenics movement, and political corruption in the state.
The island’s residents were black, Irish, Scottish, and Portuguese. They made up a number of interracial families with both married and unmarried couples, and they mostly made a living on fishing.
Because of the growing popularity of the eugenics movement in the country at the time, many people ridiculed the islanders. They believed that mixed blood equated to inferior genetics.
Newspapers also printed stories shaming what they called “the degenerate colony.” The people of Malaga were even accused of incest and feeble-mindedness, all because they weren’t of the same race.