African Americans in the West (Cultures in the American by Douglas Flamming

By Douglas Flamming

From colonial occasions to the current, this quantity captures the reviews of the westward migration of African americans. in accordance with the most recent study, it deals a clean examine the various methods African american citizens influenced—and have been encouraged by—the improvement of the U.S. frontier.African american citizens within the West covers the increase of the slave alternate to its enlargement into what used to be on the time the westernmost usa; from the post–Civil warfare migrations, together with the Exodusters who fled the South for Kansas in 1879 to the mid–20th century civil rights flow, which observed many serious occasions occur within the West—from the association of the Black Panthers in Oakland to the tragic Watts riots in la.

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To get a sense of how large the movement of slaves really was, it is useful to compare it with the slave trade from Africa to England’s 13 colonies. Between 1619 and 1808 (nearly 200 years), the African slave trade brought about a half a million Africans to Britain’s mainland colonies and later to the United States. The number of slaves taken into the Old Southwest was far greater. Between 1790 and 1860 (only 70 years), the number of slaves shipped from the East to the West equaled roughly one million—double the number sold into slavery on the East Coast!

There was no homeland to return to, even if that were possible. That reality lent extra urgency to African American efforts to carve a niche for themselves in American life. Would the West provide such a place? About This Book A few final words are in order about how this book is arranged and what readers can expect from it. This book is not intended to be encyclopedic; it is an interpretive work that highlights major issues and trends. Not everything in black western history is included here. In each chapter, I have emphasized what I consider to be events of vital importance to an understanding of the African American experience in the West.

The tables could be turned, of course. As rival European powers forced their way into the trade, each newcomer found it useful to form alliances with the downtrodden tribes and pit them against the tribes that had been enslaving them, and so the hunters could become the hunted. For our purposes, the details of this horrific process are less important than the result: slaves brought into the Americas were not merely “African slaves”; they were also an ethnically diverse population that had been violently uprooted and thrown together.

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