The articles in this volume, written over a span of almost three decades, were chosen for their readability, scholarship, and general interest.
Judith Kaaz Doyle
Robert A. Goldberg
Kenneth Wayne Howell
Larry P. Knight
Rebecca A. Kosary
Sarah R. Massey
Jeanette Nyda Mendelssohn Passty
Janice L. Sumler-Edmond
Cary D. Wintz
" . . . a valuable addition to the literature chronicling the black experience in the land of the Lone Star. While previous studies have concentrated on regions most reflective of Dixie origins, this collection examines the tri-ethnic area of Texas adjoining Mexico wherein cotton was scarce and cattle plentiful. Glasrud has assembled an excellent group of essays from which readers will learn much."-L. Patrick Hughes, professor of history, Austin Community College
The contributors portray the blacks who accompanied Cabeza de Vaca, Coronado and de Vargas and recount their interactions with Native Americans in colonial New Mexico. Chapters on the territorial period examine black trappers and traders as well as review the issue of slavery in the territory and the blacks who accompanied Confederate troops and fought in the Union army during the Civil War in New Mexico. Eventually blacks worked on farms and ranches, in mines, and on railroads as well as in the military, seeking freedom and opportunity in New Mexico’s wide open spaces. A number of black towns were established in rural areas. Lacking political power because they represented such a small percentage of New Mexico’s population, blacks relied largely on their own resources and networks, particularly churches and schools.
From a lynching in Paris at the turn of the century to the 1998 murder of Jasper resident James Byrd Jr., who was dragged to death behind a truck, this volume uncovers the violent side of race relations in the Lone Star State.
Historian Bruce A. Glasrud has curated an essential contribution to Texas history and historiography that will also bring attention to a chapter in the state’s history that, for many, is still very much a part of the present.
Many black Americans continued to serve in times of military need. Nearly 180,000 African Americans served in units of the U.S. Colored Troops during the Civil War, and others, from states such as Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Missouri, and Kansas, participated in state militias organized to protect local populations from threats of Confederate invasion. As such, the Civil War was a turning point in the acceptance of black soldiers for national defense. By 1900, twenty-two states and the District of Columbia had accepted black men into some form of military service, usually as state militiamen—brothers to the “buffalo soldiers” of the regular army regiments, but American military men regardless.
Little has been published about them, but Brothers to the Buffalo Soldiers: Perspectives on the African American Militia and Volunteers, 1865–1919, offers insights into the varied experiences of black militia units in the post–Civil War period. The book includes eleven articles that focus either on “Black Participation in the Militia” or “Black Volunteer Units in the War with Spain.” The articles, collected and introduced by author and scholar Bruce A. Glasrud, provide an overview of the history of early black citizen-soldiers and offer criticism from prominent academics interested in that experience.
Brothers to the Buffalo Soldiers discusses a previously little-known aspect of the black military experience in U.S. history, while deliberating on the discrimination these men faced both within and outside the military. Chosen on the bases of scholarship, balance, and readability, these articles provide a rare composite picture of the black military man’s life during this period. Brothers to the Buffalo Soldiers offers both a valuable introductory text for students of military studies and a solid source of material for African American historians.
Who were the black cowboys? They were drovers, foremen, fiddlers, cowpunchers, cattle rustlers, cooks, and singers. They worked as wranglers, riders, ropers, bulldoggers, and bronc busters. They came from varied backgrounds—some grew up in slavery, while free blacks often got their start in Texas and Mexico. Most who joined the long trail drives were men, but black women also rode and worked on western ranches and farms.
The first overview of the subject in more than fifty years, Black Cowboys in the American West surveys the life and work of these cattle drivers from the years before the Civil War through the turn of the twentieth century. Including both classic, previously published articles and exciting new research, this collection also features select accounts of twentieth-century rodeos, music, people, and films. Arranged in three sections—“Cowboys on the Range,” “Performing Cowboys,” and “Outriders of the Black Cowboys”—the thirteen chapters illuminate the great diversity of the black cowboy experience.
Like all ranch hands and riders, African American cowboys lived hard, dangerous lives. But black drovers were expected to do the roughest, most dangerous work—and to do it without complaint. They faced discrimination out west, albeit less than in the South, which many had left in search of autonomy and freedom. As cowboys, they could escape the brutal violence visited on African Americans in many southern communities and northern cities.
Black cowhands remain an integral part of life in the West, the descendants of African Americans who ventured west and helped settle and establish black communities. This long-overdue examination of nineteenth- and twentieth-century black cowboys ensures that they, and their many stories and experiences, will continue to be known and told.
WINNER 2013 of the Liz Carpenter Award for Research in the History of Women, presented by the Texas State Historical Association
Throughout the South, black women were crucial to the Civil Rights Movement, serving as grassroots and organizational leaders. They protested, participated, sat in, mobilized, created, energized, led particular efforts, and served as bridge builders to the rest of the community. Ignored at the time by white politicians and the media alike, with few exceptions they worked behind the scenes to effect the changes all in the movement sought. Until relatively recently, historians, too, have largely ignored their efforts.
Although African American women mobilized all across Dixie, their particular strategies took different forms in different states, just as the opposition they faced from white segregationists took different shapes. Studies of what happened at the state and local levels are critical not only because of what black women accomplished, but also because their activism, leadership, and courage demonstrated the militancy needed for a mass movement.
In this volume, scholars address similarities and variations by providing case studies of the individual states during the 1950s and 1960s, laying the groundwork for more synthetic analyses of the circumstances, factors, and strategies used by black women in the former Confederate states to destroy the system of segregation in this country.
With Big Bend’s Ancient and Modern Past, editors Bruce A. Glasrud and Robert J. Mallouf provide a helpful compilation of articles originally published in the Journal of Big Bend Studies, reviewing the unique past of the Big Bend area from the earliest habitation to 1900.
Scholars of the region investigate not only the peoples who have successively inhabited it but also the nature of the environment and the responses to that environment. As the studies in this book demonstrate, the character of the region has, to a great extent, dictated its history.
The study of Big Bend history is also the study of borderlands history. Studying and researching across borders or boundaries, whether national, state, or regional, requires a focus on the factors that often both unite and divide the inhabitants. The dual nature of citizenship, of land holding, of legal procedures and remedies, of education, and of history permeate the lives and livelihoods of past and present residents of the Big Bend.
Tackling a number of such presumptions—that a viable labor movement never existed in the Lone Star State; that black, brown, and white laborers, both male and female, were unable to achieve even short-term solidarity; that labor unions in Texas were ineffective because of laborers’ inability to confront employers—the editors and contributors to this volume lay the foundation for establishing the importance of labor to a fuller understanding of Texas history. They show, for example, that despite differing working conditions and places in society, many workers managed to unite, sometimes in biracial efforts, to overturn the top-down strategy utilized by Texas employers.
Texas Labor History also facilitates an understanding of how the state’s history relates to, reflects, and differs from national patterns and movements. This groundbreaking collection of studies offers notable opportunities for new directions of inquiry and will benefit historians and students for years to come.
In four parts—comprehending the place, people, politics and economic life, and society and culture—Carlson and Glasrud and their contributors survey the confluence of life and landscape shaping the West Texas of today. Early chapters define the region. The “giant side of Texas” is a nineteenth-century geographical description of a vast area that includes the Panhandle, Llano Estacado, Permian Basin, and Big Bend–Trans-Pecos country. It is an arid, windblown environment that connects intimately with the history of Texas culture.
Carlson and Glasrud take a nonlinear approach to exploring the many cultural influences on West Texas, including the Tejanos, the oil and gas economy, and the major cities. Readers can sample topics in whichever order they please, whether they are interested in learning about ranching, recreation, or turn-of-the-century education. Throughout, familiar western themes arise: the urban growth of El Paso is contrasted with the mid-century decline of small towns and the social shifting that followed. Well-known Texas scholars explore popular perceptions of West Texas as sparsely populated and rife with social contradiction and rugged individualism.
West Texas comes into yet clearer view through essays on West Texas women, poets, Native peoples, and musicians. Gathered here is a long overdue consideration of the landscape, culture, and everyday lives of one of America’s most iconic and understudied regions.