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Julian C. Chambliss, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of History & Coordinator of the Africa & African American Studies Program
R...
What does the
“Frontier
Experience”
mean?
Context
York, slave to William Clark, is one of the earliest
example of African Americans in the west (1804-
1806).
Battle of New Orleans
600 black troops help Andrew Jackson defeat the British
Manifest Destiny
leads to a brutal
Civil War
that creates a new context
for the African American
western experience.
RESISTANCE TO
RECONSTRUCTION
The Redeemed South?
"Everything Points to a Democratic Victory This Fall”
• OUT OF THE SOUTH
• INTO THE
WEST
–Exodusters
• In 1874 Benjamin Singleton and his associates formed the Edgefield Real Estate
and Homestead Association in Tennessee. T...
Aerial view of Nicodemus from the Northeast, 1953
http://www.nps.gov/features/nicodemus/buildings.htm
ALL BLACK TOWNS IN OKLAHOMA
http://guides.tulsalibrary.org/content.php?pid=348131&sid=2847897
Main College Building in Langston, OK, ca 1900
THE BATTLE
FOR THE WEST
Buffalo soldiers of the 25th Infantry, Ft. Keogh, Montana
9th Cavalry Regiment / 10th Cavalry Regiment
24th Infantry Regim...
Other Duties: Johnson Country War
Spanish
American
War
THE ROLE OF
MINORITIES IN THE
INDUSTRIAL WEST
The Cowboy’ Diverse Reality
• MEXICAN
COWBOY
– VAQUERO (from
Spanish for cow)
– Starting in 1500s
these Spanish
landowners...
Black Cowboys
Often omitted from the popular dialogue countless African
American served as cowboys in the west.
MYTH & MARVELS
Telephone lines over NYC 1880s
AS THE 19TH CENTURY CAME TO A CLOSE,
RAPID URBANIZATION TRIGGERED A
COMPLEX ENGAGEMENT WITH THE FRONTIER.
THE DIVERSITY OF...
Dime Novel as Collective Mythology
The Real Nat
Love
• Former slave
• Worked in the
emerging cattle
industry after Civil
War.
• Worked across the
southwest a...
THE NEW
MYTHOLOGY
FILM JOINED PRINT IN CREATING
A NEW WHITEWASHED MYTHOLOGY OF THE WEST
Birth of a Nation
https://archive.org/movies/thumbnails.php?identifier=dw_griffith_birth_of_a_nation
COUNTERPOINT:
Race Films
• Films produced by
African-American
for African
Americans allowed
them to show a
fuller memory o...
IN THE END, THE RE-IMAGINED
WESTERN NARRATIVE SUPPORTED
VIEWS THAT DIMINISHED AFRICAN-
AMERICAN CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE
U.S. ...
Thank You!!
• Dr. Julian C. Chambliss
• Twitter: @JulianChambliss
• www.julianchambliss.com
African Americans in the West: Reality and Myth
African Americans in the West: Reality and Myth
African Americans in the West: Reality and Myth
African Americans in the West: Reality and Myth
African Americans in the West: Reality and Myth
African Americans in the West: Reality and Myth
African Americans in the West: Reality and Myth
African Americans in the West: Reality and Myth
African Americans in the West: Reality and Myth
African Americans in the West: Reality and Myth
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African Americans in the West: Reality and Myth

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An exploration of the African-American experience in the context of western migration history. This presentation demonstrates African Americans contributed in every narrative of western development, but their contributions were ignored as racism promoted a frontier mythology centered on whites.

Published in: Education
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African Americans in the West: Reality and Myth

  1. 1. Julian C. Chambliss, Ph.D. Associate Professor of History & Coordinator of the Africa & African American Studies Program Rollins College African Americans and the West
  2. 2. What does the “Frontier Experience” mean?
  3. 3. Context
  4. 4. York, slave to William Clark, is one of the earliest example of African Americans in the west (1804- 1806).
  5. 5. Battle of New Orleans 600 black troops help Andrew Jackson defeat the British
  6. 6. Manifest Destiny leads to a brutal Civil War that creates a new context for the African American western experience.
  7. 7. RESISTANCE TO RECONSTRUCTION
  8. 8. The Redeemed South? "Everything Points to a Democratic Victory This Fall”
  9. 9. • OUT OF THE SOUTH
  10. 10. • INTO THE WEST –Exodusters
  11. 11. • In 1874 Benjamin Singleton and his associates formed the Edgefield Real Estate and Homestead Association in Tennessee. This association sought out the best locations for black settlements. Singleton tried to establish a well-planned and organized movement to Kansas, but by 1879, the unruly, mass Exodus had overwhelmed his efforts.
  12. 12. Aerial view of Nicodemus from the Northeast, 1953 http://www.nps.gov/features/nicodemus/buildings.htm
  13. 13. ALL BLACK TOWNS IN OKLAHOMA http://guides.tulsalibrary.org/content.php?pid=348131&sid=2847897
  14. 14. Main College Building in Langston, OK, ca 1900
  15. 15. THE BATTLE FOR THE WEST
  16. 16. Buffalo soldiers of the 25th Infantry, Ft. Keogh, Montana 9th Cavalry Regiment / 10th Cavalry Regiment 24th Infantry Regiment / 25th Infantry Regiment
  17. 17. Other Duties: Johnson Country War
  18. 18. Spanish American War
  19. 19. THE ROLE OF MINORITIES IN THE INDUSTRIAL WEST
  20. 20. The Cowboy’ Diverse Reality • MEXICAN COWBOY – VAQUERO (from Spanish for cow) – Starting in 1500s these Spanish landowners mounted Native Americans on horse to manage cattle.
  21. 21. Black Cowboys Often omitted from the popular dialogue countless African American served as cowboys in the west.
  22. 22. MYTH & MARVELS
  23. 23. Telephone lines over NYC 1880s
  24. 24. AS THE 19TH CENTURY CAME TO A CLOSE, RAPID URBANIZATION TRIGGERED A COMPLEX ENGAGEMENT WITH THE FRONTIER. THE DIVERSITY OF THE REAL FRONTIER WAS REPLACED BY AN IMAGINARY FRONTIER.
  25. 25. Dime Novel as Collective Mythology
  26. 26. The Real Nat Love • Former slave • Worked in the emerging cattle industry after Civil War. • Worked across the southwest and Mexico • Won cowboy contest in 1876 that garnered nickname Deadwood Dick.
  27. 27. THE NEW MYTHOLOGY
  28. 28. FILM JOINED PRINT IN CREATING A NEW WHITEWASHED MYTHOLOGY OF THE WEST
  29. 29. Birth of a Nation https://archive.org/movies/thumbnails.php?identifier=dw_griffith_birth_of_a_nation
  30. 30. COUNTERPOINT: Race Films • Films produced by African-American for African Americans allowed them to show a fuller memory of the western experience.
  31. 31. IN THE END, THE RE-IMAGINED WESTERN NARRATIVE SUPPORTED VIEWS THAT DIMINISHED AFRICAN- AMERICAN CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE U.S. EXPERIENCE. THE TRUTH HOWEVER IS THAT AFRICAN- AMERICANS WERE A PART OF THE WESTERN EXPERIENCE.
  32. 32. Thank You!! • Dr. Julian C. Chambliss • Twitter: @JulianChambliss • www.julianchambliss.com

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