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Racial borders : Black soldiers along the Rio Grande / James N. Leiker.

By: Leiker, James N, 1962-.
Material type: TextTextSeries: South Texas regional studies: no. 1.Publisher: College Station : Texas A & M University Press, c2002Edition: 1st ed.Description: xiv, 241 p., [8] p. of plates : ill., map ; 25 cm.ISBN: 1585441589 (alk. paper); 9781585441587 (alk. paper).Subject(s): Mexican-American Border Region -- Race relations | Texas, South -- Race relations | African American soldiers -- Mexican-American Border Region -- History -- 19th century | African American soldiers -- Texas, South -- History -- 19th century | United States. Army -- African American troops -- History -- 19th century | Nationalism -- Social aspects -- United States -- History -- 19th century | United States -- Relations -- Mexico | Mexico -- Relations -- United StatesAdditional physical formats: Online version:: Racial borders.; Online version:: Racial borders.DDC classification: 305.896/073/07644 Other classification: 15.85
Contents:
Introduction: Beyond Binary Racial Theory -- Multiracial Interaction on the Border Prior to 1870 -- Black Conquerors: The Border and the U.S. Army in the 1870s -- Crossing the River: The Social Life of the Black Regular -- African Americans and Hispanics in the Age of Imperialism -- Brownsville and Its Antecedents: Black Soldiers and Civil-Military Violence, 1899-1906 -- Race, Nationalism, and the American Punitive Expedition into Mexico -- Conclusion: The Legacies of Border Service -- Poems about the Black Regulars.
Summary: When the Civil War ended, hundreds of African Americans enlisted in the U.S. Army to gain social mobility and regular paychecks. Stationed in the West prior to 1898, these black soldiers protected white communities, forced Native Americans onto government reservations, patrolled the Mexican border, and broke up labor disputes in mining areas. African American men, themselves no strangers to persecution, aided the subjugation of Indian and Hispanic peoples throughout the West. It can hardly be surprising, then, that the relations among these groups became complex and often hostile; hardly surprising, but rarely examined. Despised by the white settlers they protected, many black soldiers were sent to posts along the Texas-Mexico border, perceived to be a safe place to put them. The interactions there among blacks, whites, and Hispanics during the period leading up to the Punitive Expedition and World War I offer the opportunity to study the complicated, even paradoxical nature of American race relations. This book establishes the army's fundamental role in transforming the Rio Grande from a frontier into a border and shows how that transformation itself brought a tightening of racial and national categories. But more importantly, it warns about the dangers of simplifying history into groupings of white and non-white, oppressors and oppressed.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
F787 .L45 2002 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001544915
Browsing University of Texas At Tyler Shelves , Shelving location: Stacks - 3rd Floor Close shelf browser
F786 .W87 1979 Dust Bowl : F786 .W87 2004 Dust Bowl : F787 .H35 1988 The border : F787 .L45 2002 Racial borders : F787 .L67 1999 The U.S.-Mexican border in the twentieth century : F787 .M3 Spanish-speaking children of the Southwest: their education and the public welfare, F787 .M36 1994 Border people :

Includes bibliographical references (p. [221]-233) and index.

When the Civil War ended, hundreds of African Americans enlisted in the U.S. Army to gain social mobility and regular paychecks. Stationed in the West prior to 1898, these black soldiers protected white communities, forced Native Americans onto government reservations, patrolled the Mexican border, and broke up labor disputes in mining areas. African American men, themselves no strangers to persecution, aided the subjugation of Indian and Hispanic peoples throughout the West. It can hardly be surprising, then, that the relations among these groups became complex and often hostile; hardly surprising, but rarely examined. Despised by the white settlers they protected, many black soldiers were sent to posts along the Texas-Mexico border, perceived to be a safe place to put them. The interactions there among blacks, whites, and Hispanics during the period leading up to the Punitive Expedition and World War I offer the opportunity to study the complicated, even paradoxical nature of American race relations. This book establishes the army's fundamental role in transforming the Rio Grande from a frontier into a border and shows how that transformation itself brought a tightening of racial and national categories. But more importantly, it warns about the dangers of simplifying history into groupings of white and non-white, oppressors and oppressed.

Introduction: Beyond Binary Racial Theory -- Ch. 1. Multiracial Interaction on the Border Prior to 1870 -- Ch. 2. Black Conquerors: The Border and the U.S. Army in the 1870s -- Ch. 3. Crossing the River: The Social Life of the Black Regular -- Ch. 4. African Americans and Hispanics in the Age of Imperialism -- Ch. 5. Brownsville and Its Antecedents: Black Soldiers and Civil-Military Violence, 1899-1906 -- Ch. 6. Race, Nationalism, and the American Punitive Expedition into Mexico -- Conclusion: The Legacies of Border Service -- App. 2. Poems about the Black Regulars.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Leiker (Saint Cloud State Univ.) traces the history of African American soldiers stationed along the Rio Grande border separating Texas from Mexico, starting with their initial assignments to this duty after the Civil War until their participation in the Pershing Expedition immediately prior to WW I. The author provides a full narrative recounting the exploits of these "Buffalo Soldiers" while placing their story within a larger interpretive framework. He notes that they experienced an emerging identity within the multiracial context of a diverse border zone, and clearly substantiates that African American soldiers experienced discrimination from both Caucasian and Hispanic residents of the region, thereby creating a three-way nexus of racism. The author pays particular attention to the 1906 Brownsville incident, which ranks as one of the most spectacular examples of racist conflict related to these soldiers. This study is based on a comprehensive array of primary documents, including newspapers, diaries, memoirs, archival collections, and military records. Leiker makes an important contribution to African American history during the late 19th century while also providing a lucid commentary on the evolving racial structures of the Texas/Mexico border during that era. General and academic collections at all levels. L. T. Cummins Austin College

Author notes provided by Syndetics

JAMES N. LEIKER received his Ph.D. in U.S. social history from the University of Kansas and has published numerous articles on African Americans and nineteenth-century westward expansion. An assistant professor at St. Cloud State University, he has taught courses in U.S. history and race relations.

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