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Description - In Search of the Racial Frontier by Quintard Taylor

A landmark history of African Americans in the West, In Search of the Racial Frontier rescues the collective American consciousness from thinking solely of European pioneers when considering the exploration, settling, and conquest of the territory west of the Mississippi. From its surprising discussions of groups of African American wholly absorbed into Native American culture to illustrating how the largely forgotten role of blacks in the West helped contribute to everything from the Brown vs. Board of Education desegregation ruling to the rise of the Black Panther Party, Quintard Taylor fills a major void in American history and reminds us that the African American experience is unlimited by reion or social status. "[Rich] in scope and scholarly detail - it will certinaly stand as the definitive work on the subject for some time to come." - James A. Miller, Boston Globe "[B]y far the most complete general history of blacks in the West." - Scott L. Malcolmson, Newsday "An absorbing chronicle." - Publisher's Weekly "Those looking for a solid overview of the African-American presence in our region would do well to let Quintard Taylor be their guide." - John C. Walter, Seattle Times

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780393318890
ISBN-10: 0393318893
Format: Paperback
(236mm x 155mm x 25mm)
Pages: 416
Imprint: WW Norton & Co
Publisher: WW Norton & Co
Publish Date: 4-Aug-1999
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions - In Search of the Racial Frontier by Quintard Taylor

Book Reviews - In Search of the Racial Frontier by Quintard Taylor

US Kirkus Review » A thoroughly researched and well-written account of the African-American contribution to the shaping of the west. Taylor (History/Univ. of Oregon) both provides much new information about African-Americans in the western US and recounts well-known stories. As an instance of the latter, he retells the familiar tale of Estevan, the Moorish servant who in 1529, accompanying Cabeza de Vaca, was the first non-Native American to glimpse the Southwest. After him followed other Africans. In the Spanish colonies of New Mexico, they were accepted as equals - if, that is, they could afford the cost of a royal certificate that "cleansed" them of their supposedly impure origins. It was more difficult to attain equality among the Anglo pioneers, writes Taylor; when Texas was a Mexican outpost, blacks could own property, but with the onset of the war of independence (and many blacks fought on the side of Sam Houston and company), they found that they themselves were property once more. When the doctrine of Manifest Destiny lured the US westward, slavery did not tag along (except in Utah). But neither did equality gain a firm toehold, not even in areas where African-American communities were well established, notably California, where thousands of blacks had entered the goldfields to seek their fortune. In other parts of the West, African-Americans also settled in numbers and formed middle-class communities, notably in Helena, Mont., and Topeka, Kans. - and were grudgingly accepted in many places, actively discriminated against in others. But, as one Georgia-born black resident of Phoenix, Ariz., remarked in 1916, "At least they don't lynch you here, like they did back there." Taylor divides his attention evenly between the 19th and 20th centuries, making this a highly useful survey volume for college courses - and a work of value to general readers. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Quintard Taylor

Quintard Taylor is a professor of history at the University of Oregon. He lives in Eugene, Oregon.

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