Karla Slocum, "Black Towns, Black Futures: The Enduring Allure of a Black Place in the American West" (UNC Press, 2019)

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Oklahoma's Black towns aren't just places of the past - they maintain an enduring allure, and look toward the future, argues Karla Slocum in her new book, Black Towns, Black Futures: The Enduring Allure of a Black Place in the American West (UNC Press, 2019). Dr. Slocum, the Thomas Willis Lambeth Chair of Public Policy and a professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina, traveled extensively through Oklahoma and conducted many interviews in researching this book, and the result is a vibrant and at times personal look at the past, present, and future of Black places in Oklahoma and the West. From rodeos to heritage tourism, these towns offer a fascinating case study in the relationship between storytelling, Blackness, and Americanness in the 21st century West, and affirm the place of Black communities in the region's history.

Dr. Stephen R. Hausmann is an assistant professor of history at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.

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