This beautifully written book tells the haunting saga of a quintessentially American family. It is the story of Shoe Boots, a famed Cherokee warrior and successful farmer, and Doll, an African slave he acquired in the late 1790s. Over the next thirty years, Shoe Boots and Doll lived together as master and slave and also as lifelong partners who, with their children and grandchildren, experienced key events in American history—including slavery, the Creek War, the founding of the Cherokee Nation and subsequent removal of Native Americans along the Trail of Tears, and the Civil War. This is the gripping story of their lives, in slavery and in freedom.
Meticulously crafted from historical and literary sources, Ties That Bind vividly portrays the members of the Shoeboots family. Doll emerges as an especially poignant character, whose life is mostly known through the records of things done to her—her purchase, her marriage, the loss of her children—but also through her moving petition to the federal government for the pension owed to her as Shoe Boots’s widow. A sensitive rendition of the hard realities of black slavery within Native American nations, the book provides the fullest picture we have of the myriad complexities, ironies, and tensions among African Americans, Native Americans, and whites in the first half of the nineteenth century.
At the turn of the nineteenth century, James Vann, a Cherokee chief and entrepreneur, established Diamond Hill in Georgia, the most famous plantation in the southeastern Cherokee Nation. In this first full-length study to reconstruct the history of the plantation, Tiya Miles tells the story of Diamond Hill’s founding, its flourishing, its takeover by white land-lottery winners on the eve of the Cherokee Removal, its decay, and ultimately its renovation in the 1950s.
This moving multiracial history sheds light on the various cultural communities that interacted within the plantation boundaries—from elite Cherokee slaveholders to Cherokee subsistence farmers, from black slaves of various ethnic backgrounds to free blacks from the North and South, from German-speaking Moravian missionaries to white southern skilled laborers. Moreover, the book includes rich portraits of the women of these various communities. Vividly written and extensively researched, this history illuminates gender, class, and cross-racial relationships on the southern frontier
is a professor at the University of Michigan in the Department of American Culture, Department of Afro-American and African Studies, Department of History, Department of Women Studies, and Native American Studies Program. Her research and creative interests include African American and Native American interrelated and comparative histories (especially 19th century); Black, Native, and U.S. women’s histories; and African American and Native American women’s literature…continue reading
CultureSOUL: *Vintage* African Americans - The Inkwell, Santa Monica, CA – 1920s-1940s
From Vintage Everyday & BlackPast.org:
“During the early 20th century, a section of the Santa Monica Beach referred to as the “Ink Well” was one of the few areas in California where African Americans were allowed to enjoy beach access in a largely segregated society…. The derogatory term “The Inkwell” was used by nearby Anglos in reference to the skin color of the beach-goers. Such names existed for other beaches across the U.S. as well. Nonetheless, African Americans in Southern California, like their counterparts elsewhere, transformed the hateful moniker into a badge of pride.”
There was an “Inkwell” area of Martha’s Vineyard on the east coast also. Today, many affluent AAs still summer there including the Obamas who are scheduled to vacation on the Vineyard next month. More info on Santa Monica’s Inkwell here and here.
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"We don’t need no more rappers, we don’t need no more basketball players, no more football players. We need more thinkers. We need more scientists. We need more managers. We need more mathematicians. We need more teachers. We need more people who care; you know what I’m saying? We need more women, mothers, fathers, we need more of that, we don’t need any more entertainers." - Tupac Amaru Shakur