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In search of the racial frontier : African Americans in the American West, 1528-
Taylor, Quintard.
Adult Nonfiction E185.925.T39 1998

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In an absorbing chronicle more remarkable for its wealth of interesting facts and figures than for any overarching historical thesis, Taylor, a University of Oregon history professor, ably documents the history of African Americans in the American West. Taylor begins in the early 16th century, when the first Spanish-speaking black slaves of the conquistadors arrived in Texas and New Mexico, and carries his study through the civil rights era to the present. Dispelling the lingering stereotype of rugged, solitary black cowboys, Taylor shows that black Westerners were predominantly urban workers‘waiters cooks, doctors, lawyers, restaurant and barbershop owners, schoolteachers, newspaper editors‘who built community institutions (fraternal organizations, women's clubs) while striving to integrate themselves into the larger society. Among the many facts that will surprise readers is this: of the original 46 settlers who founded Los Angeles in 1781, 26 were black or biracial. Marshaling a wealth of primary source material, Taylor documents black Westerners' participation in all aspects of life in the American West and, in the process, reclaims an important dimension of African American history. Photos, maps. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

This important new work is the first substantial study of African Americans in the American West. Taylor (The Forging of a Black Community: Seattle's Central District from 1870 Through the Civil Rights Era, Univ. of Washington, 1994) covers the key individuals and events from the arrival of the first blacks with the Spanish in 1528 through the Civil Rights era of the 1960s. He also examines the similarities and differences between black culture in the West and in the rest of the country. Especially revealing is Taylor's analysis of urban life, which adds new perspectives to the stereotypes of African American Westerners as solitary figures. This extensively researched, well-written book builds on pioneering work found in Kenneth W. Porter's The Negro on the American Frontier (1971), W. Sherman Savage's Blacks in the West (1976), and William Loren Katz's The Black West (1987. 3d ed.). A required purchase for all libraries.‘Stephen L. Hupp, Univ. of Pittsburgh at Johnston, Pa. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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