New book: Black Slaves, Indian Masters: Slavery, Emancipation, and Citizenship in the Native American South, by Barbara Krauthamer *00 (University of North Carolina Press)
The author: An associate professor of history at the University of Massachusetts –Amherst, Krauthamer also is the co-author of Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery. She is working on a study of runaway slave women that explores the meaning of freedom in their lives.
The book: Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians owned Africans and African-Americans as slaves from the late 18th century through the end of the Civil War. In this study of the lives of enslaved people in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indian nations, Krauthamer examines the religion and community relations of the enslaved blacks, their resistance efforts, their emancipation, and their “struggles to create meaningful lives in Indian Territory.” The author also explores the ways that gender roles of Indian women changed with the arrival of slavery.
Opening lines: “In the summer of 1937, nearly seventy-one years after her emancipation from slavery, Kiziah Love welcomed a field-worker from the Oklahoma office of the Federal Writers’ Project into her home. Love was one of approximately 7,000 black people who had been enslaved and emancipated by a Native American master. Benjamin Franklin Colbert, a Choctaw slaveholder and cotton planter, owned Kiziah Love, her mother, and at least twenty-four other black people as slaves in Indian Territory, the place we now know as Oklahoma.”
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