This summer has become a summer of resistance for me. I’m exercising that resistance by camping in Trenton and hiking at Acadia National Park.

For Black individuals and immigrants in the state, the march of neo-Nazis in Portland in April continues to cause distress and concern. The Nationalist Social Club march, demanding protection for the white community, may have escaped the minds of many, but not those of us with brown and black skin. It has left us apprehensive about the neo-Nazis’ intention moving forward.

The group’s aim is to intimidate, to make us feel like outsiders in the only state we now call home. Countering those tactics is vital, and one approach I prefer is to show resistance by showing up all over breathtaking Maine landscapes, such as Acadia National Park. Yes, this is a form of resistance.

Abdi Nor Iftin is a Somali-American writer, radio journalist and public speaker. He lives in Yarmouth and can be contacted at

Although our state has made significant strides in electing Black and brown individuals to leadership positions, there remains a need for further progress on the non-political front. It is essential to break the stereotype that new Mainers are solely concentrated in Lewiston and Portland or a few other places. We can do that by hiking and camping and with other summer activities, particularly in its most remarkable and popular locations.

Longtime Mainers can help New Mainers with this. Together we can create a powerful resistance during these challenging times. By engaging in a diverse range of activities as new Mainers, we will show that we have firmly planted our roots in Maine. Our determination can be expressed in multiple ways, making a profound impact on our communities and beyond. We don’t have to travel far or spend a lot of money for a summer getaway to immerse ourselves in the beauty of the state. Resistance can begin with one small step.

This summer, I am spending time near Acadia National Park, camping for the first time in a tent in Trenton, just a short drive away from the park. A Yarmouth family, with roots in Ellsworth, has welcomed me to join them for this summer escape, complete with delightful lobster dinners, nightly card games, picturesque views of Union River Bay and distant Blue Hill, and blueberry pancakes with Maine maple syrup for breakfast. The blueberries are everywhere I look here in Trenton; my tent is set up on a field full of them. People often call out as I crawl into my tent, “Watch out for the black bears!” I am more worried about the neo-Nazis in Maine than a black bear trying to get into my tent.

Exploring Acadia National Park and running on its carriage roads has become a routine for me and I’ve been taking leisurely walks around Bar Harbor. I cherish these visits, as they send a clear message to those who would prefer me to leave Maine – I am firmly rooted here, committed to deepening my connection to this state. Unlike most tourists at Acadia, I am not just passing through; I am a Black Mainer who adores this state and belongs here, and no one can persuade me otherwise.

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