In the midst of World War I, the Ottoman government forcibly removed many of its Armenian citizens from their eastern Anatolian lands. While recognizing the controversy and tragedy of the events of 1915 that led to the death of hundreds of thousands of Armenians, author Yücel Güçlü refrains from accepting the genocidal label that other scholars have assigned the episode.
Güçlü bases his claim largely on evidence from state and military archives in Turkey, Britain, France, and the United States that look specifically into the Ottoman version of history, placing the whole question of forced population displacements in a wider and more nuanced perspective than that in which it is usually depicted. According to the author, revolutionary Armenian forces were threatening the Ottoman Empire from within as it was simultaneously threatened by external forces. Armenians were also actively involved with Allied forces throughout World War I. In response, the Ottoman government ordered the movement of the Armenian population away from protected and sensitive war zones. The actions taken by the Ottoman Empire to control the Armenian population were those of relocation, not extermination.
Working to explain why the Armenian conflict emerged and how it was eventually resolved, this book discusses the Armenian revolutionary and separatist movements, Turkish measures of self defense, and Allied schemes regarding the region during the period. It places special emphasis on the influence of Allied forces on the actions of Armenians in Cilicia.
During the eleventh and twelfth centuries A.D., the Mogollon Rim region of east-central Arizona was a frontier, situated beyond and between larger regional organizations such as Chaco, Hohokam, and Mimbres. On this southwestern edge of the Puebloan world, past settlement poses a contradiction to those who study it. Population density was low and land abundant, yet the region was overbuilt with great kivas, a form of community-level architecture. Using a frontier model to evaluate household, community, and regional data, Sarah Herr demonstrates that the archaeological patterns of the Mogollon Rim region were created by the flexible and creative behaviors of small-scale agriculturalists. These people lived in a land-rich and labor-poor environment in which expediency, mobility, and fluid social organization were the rule and rigid structures and normative behaviors the exception. Herr's research shows that the eleventh- and twelfth-century inhabitants of the Mogollon Rim region were recent migrants, probably from the southern portion of the Chacoan region. These early settlers built houses and ceremonial structures and made ceramic vessels that resembled those of their homeland, but their social and political organization was not the same as that of their ancestors. Mogollon Rim communities were shaped by the cultural backgrounds of migrants, by their liminal position on the political landscape, and by the unique processes associated with frontiers. As migrants moved from homeland to frontier, a reversal in the proportion of land to labor dramatically changed the social relations of production. Herr argues that when the context of production changes in this way, wealth-in-people becomes more valuable than material wealth, and social relationships and cultural symbols such as the great kiva must be reinterpreted accordingly. Beyond Chaco expands our knowledge of the prehistory of this region and contributes to our understanding of how ancestral communities were constituted in lower-population areas of the agrarian Southwest.
For the first time in poetic form, The Cherokee Lottery treats one of the greatest tragedies in American history, the forced removal of the Southern Indian tribes east of the Mississippi. When gold was discovered on Cherokee land in northern Georgia in 1828, the U.S. Government passed the Removal Act, and 18,000 Cherokees, along with other southern tribes—Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Creeks—were forcibly relocated to Oklahoma territory. Herded along under armed guard, they traveled in bitter cold weather and as many as a quarter died on what became known as "The Trail of Tears."
In powerful poetry of epic proportions, which Harold Bloom has called his best work, Smith paints a stark and vivid picture of this ordeal and its principal participants, among them Sequoyah, the inventor of the Cherokee alphabet, and Osceola, the Seminole chief.
In this innovative study of the aftermath of ethnic cleansing, Eagle Glassheim examines the transformation of Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland from the end of the Second World War, through the Cold War, and into the twenty-first century.
Prior to their expulsion in 1945, ethnic Germans had inhabited the Sudeten borderlands for hundreds of years, with deeply rooted local cultures and close, if sometimes tense, ties with Bohemia’s Czech majority. Cynically, if largely willingly, harnessed by Hitler in 1938 to his pursuit of a Greater Germany, the Sudetenland’s three million Germans became the focus of Czech authorities in their retributive efforts to remove an alien ethnic element from the body politic—and claim the spoils of this coal-rich, industrialized area. Yet, as Glassheim reveals, socialist efforts to create a modern utopia in the newly resettled “frontier” territories proved exceedingly difficult. Many borderland regions remained sparsely populated, peppered with dilapidated and abandoned houses, and hobbled by decaying infrastructure. In the more densely populated northern districts, coalmines, chemical works, and power plants scarred the land and spewed toxic gases into the air. What once was a diverse religious, cultural, economic, and linguistic “contact zone,” became, according to many observers, a scarred wasteland, both physically and psychologically.
Glassheim offers new perspectives on the struggles of reclaiming ethnically cleansed lands in light of utopian dreams and dystopian realities—brought on by the uprooting of cultures, the loss of communities, and the industrial degradation of a once-thriving region. To Glassheim, the lessons drawn from the Sudetenland speak to the deep social traumas and environmental pathologies wrought by both ethnic cleansing and state-sponsored modernization processes that accelerated across Europe as a result of the great wars of the twentieth century.
In the early 20th century, the population of New York City’s Lower East Side swelled with vast numbers of eastern European Jewish immigrants. The tenements, whose inhabitants faced poverty and frequent unemployment, provoked the hostile attention of immigration restrictionists, many of whom disdained Jews, racial minorities, and foreigners as inferior. Accordingly, they aimed to stifle the growth of dense ethnic settlements by curtailing immigration. Dispersing the Ghetto is the first book to describe in detail an important but little-known chapter in American immigration history, that of the Industrial Removal Office (IRO), founded in 1901. Established American Jews—arrivals from the German states only a generation before—felt vulnerable. They feared their security was at risk owing to the rising tide of Russian Jews on the east coast. German American Jews believed they too might become the objects of anti-Semitic scorn, which would be disastrous for German and Russian Jews alike if it were allowed to shape public policy. As a defensive measure to undercut the immigration restrictionist movement, American Jews of German origin established the Industrial Removal Office to promote the relocation of the immigrants to the towns and cities of the nation’s interior. Until the onset of World War I, the IRO directed the resettlement of Jewish immigrants from New York and other port cities to hundreds of communities nationwide.
Drawing on a variety of sources, including the IRO archive, first-person accounts of resettlement, local records, and the Jewish press, Glazier recounts the operation of the IRO and the complex relationship between two sets of Jewish immigrants.
The mythology of "gifted land" is strong in the Park Service, but some of our greatest parks were "gifted" by people who had little if any choice in the matter. Places like the Grand Canyon's south rim and Glacier had to be bought, finagled, borrowed -- or taken by force -- when Indian occupants and owners resisted the call to contribute to the public welfare. The story of national parks and Indians is, depending on perspective, a costly triumph of the public interest, or a bitter betrayal of America's native people.In Indian Country, God's Country historian Philip Burnham traces the complex relationship between Native Americans and the national parks, relating how Indians were removed, relocated, or otherwise kept at arm's length from lands that became some of our nation's most hallowed ground. Burnham focuses on five parks: Glacier, the Badlands, Mesa Verde, the Grand Canyon, and Death Valley. Based on archival research and extensive personal visits and interviews, he examines the beginnings of the national park system and early years of the National Park Service, along with later Congressional initiatives to mainstream American Indians and expand and refurbish the parks. The final chapters visit the parks as they are today, presenting the thoughts and insights of superintendents and rangers, tribal officials and archaeologists, ranchers, community leaders, curators, and elders. Burnham reports on hard-won compromises that have given tribes more autonomy and greater cultural recognition in recent years, while highlighting stubborn conflicts that continue to mark relations between tribes and the parks.Indian Country, God's Country offers a compelling -- and until now untold -- story that illustrates the changing role of the national parks in American society, the deep ties of Native Americans to the land, and the complicated mix of commerce, tourism, and environmental preservation that characterize the parks system. Anyone interested in Native American culture and history, the history of the American West, the national park system, or environmental history will find it a fascinating and engaging work.
Indigenous Bodies, Maya Minds examines tension and conflict over ethnic and religious identity in the K’iche’ Maya community of San Andrés Xecul in the Guatemalan Highlands and considers how religious and ethnic attachments are sustained and transformed through the transnational experiences of locals who have migrated to the United States.
Author C. James MacKenzie explores the relationship among four coexisting religious communities within Highland Maya villages in contemporary Guatemala—costumbre, traditionalist religion with a shamanic substrate; “Enthusiastic Christianity,” versions of Charismaticism and Pentecostalism; an “inculturated” and Mayanized version of Catholicism; and a purified and antisyncretic Maya Spirituality—with attention to the modern and nonmodern worldviews that sustain them. He introduces a sophisticated set of theories to interpret both traditional religion and its relationship to other contemporary religious options, analyzing the relation among these various worldviews in terms of the indigenization of modernity and the various ways modernity can be apprehended as an intellectual project or an embodied experience.
Indigenous Bodies, Maya Minds investigates the way an increasingly plural religious landscape intersects with ethnic and other identities. It will be of interest to Mesoamerican and Mayan ethnographers, as well as students and scholars of cultural anthropology, indigenous cultures, globalization, and religion.
With the Indian Removal Act of 1830, the Choctaw people began their journey over the Trail of Tears from their homelands in Mississippi to the new lands of the Choctaw Nation. Suffering a death rate of nearly 20 percent due to exposure, disease, mismanagement, and fraud, they limped into Indian Territory, or, as they knew it, the Land of the Dead (the route taken by the souls of Choctaw people after death on their way to the Choctaw afterlife). Their first few years in the new nation affirmed their name for the land, as hundreds more died from whooping cough, floods, starvation, cholera, and smallpox. Living in the Land of the Dead depicts the story of Choctaw survival, and the evolution of the Choctaw people in their new environment. Culturally, over time, their adaptation was one of homesteads and agriculture, eventually making them self-sufficient in the rich new lands of Indian Territory. Along the Red River and other major waterways several Choctaw families of mixed heritage built plantations, and imported large crews of slave labor to work cotton fields. They developed a sub-economy based on interaction with the world market. However, the vast majority of Choctaws continued with their traditional subsistence economy that was easily adapted to their new environment.
The immigrant Choctaws did not, however, move into land that was vacant. The U.S. government, through many questionable and some outright corrupt extralegal maneuvers, chose to believe it had gained title through negotiations with some of the peoples whose homelands and hunting grounds formed Indian Territory. Many of these indigenous peoples reacted furiously to the incursion of the Choctaws onto their rightful lands. They threatened and attacked the Choctaws and other immigrant Indian Nations for years. Intruding on others’ rightful homelands, the farming-based Choctaws, through occupation and economics, disrupted the traditional hunting economy practiced by the Southern Plains Indians, and contributed to the demise of the Plains ways of life.
Chiefs Joseph, Looking Glass, White Bird, and Their People Against the United States
In 1877, the U.S. Government opened the Nez Perce lands in Oregon to settlers and ordered the tribe to move to a reservation in Idaho Territory. Although reluctant to leave their homeland, the Nez Perce began the long trek eastward. A small band of young warriors vented their frustration, however, in two days of deadly attacks on settlements along the Salmon River. Realizing that the U.S. response would be overwhelming—particularly in light of Custer’s defeat the year before—the Nez Perce leaders, including Chiefs Joseph, Looking Glass, and White Bird, prepared their people for war. A U.S. Army battalion led by Civil War general Oliver O. Howard along with several other coordinated army units began pursuit in an effort to subdue the Nez Perce and forceably move them to the reservation. The Nez Perce resolved to escape to freedom in Canada. Using their intimate knowledge of the land and their native Appaloosa horses skillfully, the Nez Perce were able to successfully check and elude the much larger American force for more than three months as they wound their way across the Rocky Mountains, through the newly established Yellowstone National Park, and into Montana. The war finally ended when the exhausted Indians—men, women, and children—were surrounded in the Bear Paw Mountains. Looking Glass was shot dead, and at this point, Chief Joseph relinquished and gave his famous address of surrender to General Howard. While most of the Nez Perce ended up on a reservation, the band led by White Bird was able to make their way to Canada and freedom.
The Nez Perce War is one of the most important and emotional campaigns of the Indian Wars. It essentially closed an era in American history, and the amount of time, money, and troops required to subdue the Nez Perce brought the plight of American Indians and the reservation system to the front pages of newspapers around the world. In The Long Journey of the Nez Perce: A Battle History from Cottonwood to Bear Paw, former U.S. Army engineering officer Kevin Carson brings his intimate knowledge of the territory crossed by the Nez Perce along with his skill as a cartographer to reconstruct in detail the battles and skirmishes along the entire route of the conflict.
Maya people have lived for thousands of years in the mountains and forests of Guatemala, but they lost control of their land, becoming serfs and refugees, when the Spanish invaded in the sixteenth century. Under the Spanish and the Guatemalan non-Indian elites, they suffered enforced poverty as a resident source of cheap labor for non-Maya projects, particularly agriculture production. Following the CIA-induced coup that toppled Guatemala's elected government in 1954, their misery was exacerbated by government accommodation to United States "interests," which promoted crops for export and reinforced the need for cheap and passive labor.
This widespread poverty was endemic throughout northwestern Guatemala, where 80 percent of Maya children were chronically malnourished, and forced wide-scale migration to the Pacific coast. The self-help aid that flowed into the area in the 1960s and 1970s raised hopes for justice and equity that were brutally suppressed by Guatemala's military government. This military reprisal led to a massive diaspora of Maya throughout Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Central America.
This collection describes that process and the results. The chapters show the dangers and problems of the migratory/refugee process and the range of creative cultural adaptations that the Maya have developed. It provides the first comparative view of the formation and transformation of this new and expanding transnational population, presented from the standpoint of the migrants themselves as well as from a societal and international perspective. Together, the chapters furnish ethnographically grounded perspectives on the dynamic implications of uprooting and resettlement, social and psychological adjustment, long-term prospects for continued links to migration history from Guatemala, and the development of a sense of co-ethnicity with other indigenous people of Maya descent. As the Maya struggle to find their place in a more global society, their stories of quiet courage epitomize those of many other ethnic groups, migrants, and refugees today.
For over 1500 years, the Sayisi Dene, 'The Dene from the East', led an independent life, following the caribou herds and having little contact with white society. In 1956, an arbitrary government decision to relocate them catapulted the Sayisi Dene into the 20th century. It replaced their traditional nomadic life of hunting and fishing with a slum settlement on the outskirts of Churchill, Manitoba. Inadequately housed, without jobs, unfamiliar with the language or the culture, their independence and self-determination deteriorated into a tragic cycle of discrimination, poverty, alcoholism and violent death.By the early 1970s, the band realized they had to take their future into their own hands again. After searching for a suitable location, they set up a new community at Tadoule Lake, 250 miles north of Churchill. Today they run their own health, education and community programs. But the scars of the relocation will take years to heal, and Tadoule Lake is grappling with the problems of a people whose ties to the land, and to one another, have been tragically severed.In Night Spirits, the survivors, including those who were children at the time of the move, as well as the few remaining elders, recount their stories. They offer a stark and brutally honest account of the near-destruction of the Sayisi Dene, and their struggle to reclaim their lives. It is a dark story, told in hope.
For the first time, the traumatic removal of the Oneida Indians from New York to Wisconsin is examined in a groundbreaking collection of essays, The Oneida Indian Journey from New York to Wisconsin, 1784–1860. To shed light on this vital period of Oneida history, editors Laurence Hauptman and L. Gordon McLester, III, present a unique collaboration between an American Indian nation and the academic community. Two professional historians, a geographer, anthropologist, archivist and attorney join in with eighteen voices from the Oneida community—local historians, folklorists, genealogists, linguists, and tribal elders—discuss tribal dispossession and community; Oneida community perspectives of Oneida history; and the means of studying Oneida history.
Contributors include: Debra Anderson, Eileen Antone, Jim Antone, Abrahms Archiquette, Oscar Archiquette, Jack Campisi, Richard Chrisjohn, Amelia Cornelius, Judy Cornelius, Katie Cornelius, Melissa Cornelius, Jonas Elm, James Folts, Reginald Horsman, Elizabeth Huff, Francis Jennings, Arlinda Locklear, Jo Margaret Mano, Loretta Metoxen, Liz Obomsawin, Jessie Peters, Sarah Summers, and Rachel Swamp
With Pathways of Desire, Héctor Carrillo brings us into the lives of Mexican gay men who have left their home country to pursue greater sexual autonomy and sexual freedom in the United States. The groundbreaking ethnographic study brings our attention to the full arc of these men’s migration experiences, from their upbringing in Mexican cities and towns, to their cross-border journeys, to their incorporation into urban gay communities in American cities, and their sexual and romantic relationships with American men. These men’s diverse and fascinating stories demonstrate the intertwining of sexual, economic, and familial motivations for migration.
Further, Carrillo shows that sexual globalization must be regarded as a bidirectional, albeit uneven, process of exchange between countries in the global north and the global south. With this approach, Carrillo challenges the view that gay men from countries like Mexico would logically want to migrate to a “more sexually enlightened” country like the United States—a partial and limited understanding, given the dynamic character of sexuality in countries such as Mexico, which are becoming more accepting of sexual diversity. Pathways of Desire also provides a helpful analytical framework for the simultaneous consideration of structural and cultural factors in social scientific studies of sexuality. Carrillo explains the patterns of cross-cultural interaction that sexual migration generates and—at the most practical level—shows how the intricacies of cross-cultural sexual and romantic relations may affect the sexual health and HIV risk of transnational immigrant populations.
In the early 1950s, a number of Inuit men, women, and children were loaded on ships and sent to live in the cold and barren lands of the Canadian High Arctic. Spurred by government agents’ promises of plentiful game, virgin land, and a lifestyle untainted by Western Influences, these “voluntary migrants,” who soon numbered nearly ninety, found instead isolation, hunting limited by game preserve regulations, three months of total darkness each winter, and a government suddenly deaf to their pleas to return home. The question, still unresolved forty years later, is whether these “experiments” were a well-intentioned governmental attempt to protect the Inuit way of life or a ploy to lure innocent people to exile, hunger, and deprivation in order to solidify Canada’s Cold War sovereignty in the far North. Alan Rudolph Marcus outlines the motives behind the relocation, case histories of two settlements, and the aftermath of the migration. Relocating Eden provides a timely and provocative inquiry into issues of continuing importance to Canada and all native peoples.
Many readers may be familiar with the wartime exploits of the Apaches; this book relates the untold story of their postwar fate. It tells of the Chiricahua Apaches’ 27 years of imprisonment as recorded in American dispatches, reports, and news items: documents that disclose the confusion, contradictions, and raw emotions expressed by government and military officials regarding the Apaches while revealing the shameful circumstances in which they were held. First removed from Arizona to Florida, the prisoners were eventually relocated to Mount Vernon Barracks in Alabama, where, in the words of one Apache, "We didn’t know what misery was until they dumped us in those swamps." Pulmonary disease took its toll—by 1894, disease had killed nearly half of the Apaches—and after years of pressure from Indian rights activists and bureaucratic haggling, Fort Sill in Oklahoma was chosen as a more healthful location. Here they were given the opportunity to farm, and here Geronimo, who eventually converted to Christianity, died of pneumonia in 1909 at the age of 89, still a prisoner of war. In the meantime, many Apache children had been removed to Carlisle, Pennsylvania, for education—despite earlier promises that families would not be split up—and most eventually lost their cultural identity. Henrietta Stockel has combed public records to reconstruct this story of American shame and Native endurance. Unabashedly speaking on behalf of the Apaches, she has framed these documents within a readable narrative to show how exasperated public officials, eager to openly demonstrate their superiority over "savages" who had successfully challenged the American military for years, had little sympathy for the consequences of their confinement. Although the Chiricahua Apaches were not alone in losing their ancestral homelands, they were the only American Indians imprisoned for so long a time in an environment that continually exposed them to illnesses against which they had no immunity, devastating families even more than warfare. Shame and Endurance records events that ought never to be repeated—and tells a story that should never be forgotten.
In the spring of 1877 government officials forcibly removed members of the Ponca tribe from their homelands in the southeastern corner of Dakota territory, relocating them in the Indian Territory in Oklahoma. When Ponca Chief Standing Bear attempted to lead a group of his people home he was arrested, detained, and put on trial.
In this book Valerie Sherer Mathes and Richard Lowitt examine how the national publicity surrounding the trial of Chief Standing Bear, as well as a speaking tour by the chief and others, brought the plight of his tribe, and of tribespeople across America, to the attention of the general public, serving as a catalyst for the nineteenth-century Indian reform movement.
As the authors show, the eventual ramifications of the removal, flight, and trial of Standing Bear were extensive, and included the rise of an organized humanitarian reform movement, significant changes in the administration of Indian affairs, and the passage of the General Allotment Act in 1887.
This is the first full-length study of the Standing Bear trial and its consequences, and Mathes and Lowitt draw on a vast array of manuscript, diary, and journalistic sources in order to chronicle the events of 1877, as well as the effect the trial had on broader American popular opinion, on the federal government, and finally on the Native American population as a whole.
In this groundbreaking study, Portnoy links antebellum Indian removal debates with crucial, simultaneous debates about African Americans--abolition of slavery and African colonization--revealing ways European American women negotiated prohibitions to make their voices heard. Situating the debates within contemporary, competing ideas about race, religion, and nation, Portnoy examines the means by which women argued for a "right to speak" on national policy.
Lynn Stephen’s innovative ethnography follows indigenous Mexicans from two towns in the state of Oaxaca—the Mixtec community of San Agustín Atenango and the Zapotec community of Teotitlán del Valle—who periodically leave their homes in Mexico for extended periods of work in California and Oregon. Demonstrating that the line separating Mexico and the United States is only one among the many borders that these migrants repeatedly cross (including national, regional, cultural, ethnic, and class borders and divisions), Stephen advocates an ethnographic framework focused on transborder, rather than transnational, lives. Yet she does not disregard the state: She assesses the impact migration has had on local systems of government in both Mexico and the United States as well as the abilities of states to police and affect transborder communities.
Stephen weaves the personal histories and narratives of indigenous transborder migrants together with explorations of the larger structures that affect their lives. Taking into account U.S. immigration policies and the demands of both commercial agriculture and the service sectors, she chronicles how migrants experience and remember low-wage work in agriculture, landscaping, and childcare and how gender relations in Oaxaca and the United States are reconfigured by migration. She looks at the ways that racial and ethnic hierarchies inherited from the colonial era—hierarchies that debase Mexico’s indigenous groups—are reproduced within heterogeneous Mexican populations in the United States. Stephen provides case studies of four grass-roots organizations in which Mixtec migrants are involved, and she considers specific uses of digital technology by transborder communities. Ultimately Stephen demonstrates that transborder migrants are reshaping notions of territory and politics by developing creative models of governance, education, and economic development as well as ways of maintaining their cultures and languages across geographic distances.
Thirty-five years into his research among the descendants of rebel slaves living in the South American rain forest, anthropologist Richard Price encountered Tooy, a priest, philosopher, and healer living in a rough shantytown on the outskirts of Cayenne, French Guiana. Tooy is a time traveler who crosses boundaries between centuries, continents, the worlds of the living and the dead, and the visible and invisible. With an innovative blend of storytelling and scholarship, Travels with Tooy recounts the mutually enlightening and mind-expanding journeys of these two intellectuals.
Included on the itinerary for this hallucinatory expedition: forays into the eighteenth century to talk with slaves newly arrived from Africa; leaps into the midst of battles against colonial armies; close encounters with double agents and femme fatale forest spirits; and trips underwater to speak to the comely sea gods who control the world’s money supply. This enchanting book draws on Price’s long-term ethnographic and archival research, but above all on Tooy’s teachings, songs, stories, and secret languages to explore how Africans in the Americas have created marvelous new worlds of the imagination.
Capturing military men in contemplation rather than combat, Sherry L. Smith reveals American army officers' views about the Indians against whom they fought in the last half of the nineteenth century. She demonstrates that these officers—and their wives—did not share a monolithic, negative view of their enemies, but instead often developed a great respect for Indians and their cultures. Some officers even came to question Indian policy, expressed misgivings about their personal involvement in the Indian Wars, and openly sympathized with their foe.
The book reviews the period 1848–1890—from the acquisition of the Mexican Cession to the Battle of Wounded Knee—and encompasses the entire trans-Mississippi West. Resting primarily on personal documents drawn from a representative sample of the officer corps at all levels, the study seeks to juxtapose the opinions of high-ranking officers with those of officers of lesser prominence, who were perhaps less inclined to express personal opinions in official reports.
No educated segment of American society had more prolonged contact with Indians than did army officers and their wives, yet not until now has such an overview of their attitudes been presented. Smith's work demolishes the stereotype of the Indian-hating officer and broadens our understanding of the role of the army in the American West.
White Man's Heaven is the first book to investigate the lynching and expulsion of African Americans in the Missouri and Arkansas Ozarks in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Kimberly Harper shows how an established tradition of extralegal violence and the rapid political, economic, and social change of the New South era combined to create an environment that resulted in interracial violence. Even though some whites tried to stop the violence and bring the lynchers to justice, many African Americans fled the Ozarks, leaving only a resilient few behind and forever changing the racial composition of the region.
Since the colonial days, American women have traveled, migrated, and relocated, always faced with the challenge of reconstructing their homes for themselves and their families. Women, America, and Movement offers a journey through largely unexplored territory—the experiences of migrating American women. These narratives, both real and imagined, represent a range of personal and critical perspectives; some of the women describe their travels as expansive and freeing, while others relate the dreadful costs and sacrifices of relocating.
Despite the range of essays featured in this study, the writings all coalesce around the issues of politics, poetry, and self- identity described by Adrienne Rich as the elements of the "politics of location," treated here as the politics of relocation. The narratives featured in this book explore the impact of race, class, and sexual economics on migratory women, their self-identity, and their roles in family and social life. These issues demonstrate that in addition to geographic place, ideology is itself a space to be traversed.
By examining the writings of such women as Louise Erdrich, Zora Neale Hurston, and Gertrude Stein, the essayists included in this volume offer a variety of experiences. The book confronts such issues as racist politicking against Native Americans, African Americans, and Asian immigrants; sexist attitudes that limit women to the roles of wife, mother, and sexual object; and exploitation of migrants from Appalachia and of women newly arrived in America.
These essays also delve into the writings themselves by looking at what happens to narrative structure as authors or their characters cross geographic boundaries. The reader sees how women writers negotiate relocation in their texts and how the written word becomes a place where one finds oneself.