Guest: Alaina Roberts, Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of Pittsburgh
Host: Alina Scott, PhD Candidate in the History Department at the University of Texas at Austin
Even before the Civil War, Indian Territory was home to a wide array of groups including Native American Nations, enslaved Indian Freed-people, African Americans, White settlers, and a host of others. In a conversation on Black Reconstruction in Indian Territory, Alaina Roberts discusses what Reconstruction might have meant for Black people in what is now called Oklahoma. Roberts’ new book, I’ve Been Here All the While: Black Freedom on Native Land (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021), ties African American and Native American history tightly together, revealing a western theatre of Civil War and Reconstruction in which Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole Indians, their Black slaves, and African Americans and whites from the eastern United States fought military and rhetorical battles to lay claim to land in Indian Territory (modern-day Oklahoma) that had been taken from others.
- I’ve Been Here All the While Black Freedom on Native Land by Alaina E. Roberts https://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/book/16221.html
- “A Native American Tribe In Oklahoma Denied Black Citizens COVID-19 Vaccines And Financial Relief” by Joseph Lee (Buzzfeed News-https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/josephvlee/seminole-oklahoma-black-freedmen-vaccines )
- “A timeline for Cherokee Freedmen” (The Cherokee Phoenix– https://www.cherokeephoenix.org/news/a-timeline-for-cherokee-freedmen/article_b22ddd23-1dfc-5da3-8258-b12ab7e010e7.html)