By Anthony W. Wood
Toward the end of the nineteenth century, many African Americans moved westward as Greater Reconstruction came to a close. Though, along with Euro-Americans, Black settlers appropriated the land of Native Americans, sometimes even contributing to ongoing violence against Indigenous people, this migration often defied the goals of settler states in the American West.
In Black Montana Anthony W. Wood explores the entanglements of race, settler colonialism, and the emergence of state and regional identity in the American West during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. By producing conditions of social, cultural, and economic precarity that undermined Black Montanans’ networks of kinship, community, and financial security, the state of Montana, in its capacity as a settler colony, worked to exclude the Black community that began to form inside its borders after Reconstruction.
Black Montana depicts the history of Montana’s Black community from 1877 until the 1930s, a period in western American history that represents a significant moment and unique geography in the life of the U.S. settler-colonial project.