Citation

Profit and Identity: Black Towns and Black Self-Determination

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Abstract:

The push to own land in what is now called the American West was prompted not only by the notions of Manifest Destiny, but the idea that in the west lay the keys to economic betterment in the form of gold and land. For African Americans following emancipation and the end of Reconstruction, western expansion was seen not only as a key to economic betterment but also political and social freedom. Landownership for African Americans has been historically and culturally connected to these notions of economic, political, and social self determination. Academically, African American economic empowerment has been examined in the framework of business ownership or landownership. By examining the development Black towns in the American west, I will explore how the business of land was connected to African American efforts to exercise their freedom and claim an American as well as African identity. Using the first Black town in New Mexico, Blackdom, as a case study, this paper will examine historically and anthropologically the economy of Black towns in three ways: (1) the economic benefits of land proprietorship, (2) the economy of towns and how the towns attempted economic self sufficiency, and (3) the material culture of residents and their participation in the wider American market and what that means in developing and maintaining an African American identity.
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Association:
Name: 95th Annual Convention
URL:
http://www.asalh.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435536_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Winsett, Shea. "Profit and Identity: Black Towns and Black Self-Determination" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, Sep 29, 2010 <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435536_index.html>

APA Citation:

Winsett, S. , 2010-09-29 "Profit and Identity: Black Towns and Black Self-Determination" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435536_index.html

Publication Type: Individual Paper
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: The push to own land in what is now called the American West was prompted not only by the notions of Manifest Destiny, but the idea that in the west lay the keys to economic betterment in the form of gold and land. For African Americans following emancipation and the end of Reconstruction, western expansion was seen not only as a key to economic betterment but also political and social freedom. Landownership for African Americans has been historically and culturally connected to these notions of economic, political, and social self determination. Academically, African American economic empowerment has been examined in the framework of business ownership or landownership. By examining the development Black towns in the American west, I will explore how the business of land was connected to African American efforts to exercise their freedom and claim an American as well as African identity. Using the first Black town in New Mexico, Blackdom, as a case study, this paper will examine historically and anthropologically the economy of Black towns in three ways: (1) the economic benefits of land proprietorship, (2) the economy of towns and how the towns attempted economic self sufficiency, and (3) the material culture of residents and their participation in the wider American market and what that means in developing and maintaining an African American identity.


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