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 american citizens. in line with the newest examine, it deals a clean examine the numerous methods African american citizens influenced—and have been prompted by—the improvement of the U.S. frontier.African american citizens within the West covers the increase of the slave exchange to its enlargement into what was once on the time the westernmost usa; from the post–Civil struggle migrations, together with the Exodusters who fled the South for Kansas in 1879 to the mid–20th century civil rights stream, which observed many severe occasions ensue within the West—from the association of the Black Panthers in Oakland to the tragic Watts riots in la.

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Southern slaveholders were willing to settle and develop the rich farmland in East Texas, land and climate suited to cotton, so Americans began to immigrate to ­Mexican Texas, and before long there were too many for Mexico’s comfort. When Mexico officially closed the border to Americans, the southerners kept coming illegally, bringing large numbers of slaves. By the 1830s, the American-Mexicans greatly outnumbered their Mexican neighbors, and, Slaves picking cotton in East Texas. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images) Frontiers of Slavery and Freedom, 1815–1865 35 along with some Tejanos who were disgruntled with affairs in Mexico City, the Americans soon declared themselves politically independent.

By the late 19th century, however, they claimed the idea of western freedom as strongly as did any group in America, precisely because they had known the opposite of freedom in the most literal sense. African American interest in the West must be understood in this context. Why Study the West? The story of the American West is a ripping good tale. If nothing else, Western history is dramatic. The same can be said of African American history. Both offer historical episodes of unending fascination.

Ships at sea could measure their latitude easily, using stars as their guide. Longitude was more difficult to measure—the stars were not much help—but eventually, shortly before the American Revolution, an Englishman discovered the key to the puzzle: distance could be measured by time, or, more precisely, by a special clock called a chronometer. Longitude lines are called “meridians” and are measured in degrees— a random example being that Green Bay, Wisconsin, happens to be located at 88 degrees west longitude; or at the 88th meridian west.

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