Alaina Roberts on Black Freedom on Native Land

On Monday, September 12, 2022, historian and writer Alaina Roberts will introduce the Reconstruction era connections between Black freedom and Native American citizenship in the context of westward expansion onto Native land. This session is part of the Teach the Black Freedom Struggle series of online classes.

Alaina Roberts, the author of I’ve Been Here All the While: Black Freedom on Native Land, is an award-winning historian who studies the intersection of Black and Native American life from the Civil War to the modern day. She is an assistant professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh. She writes, teaches, and presents about Black and Native history in the West, family history, slavery in the Five Tribes (the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Cherokee, Creek, and Seminole Indian Nations), Native American enrollment politics, and Indigeneity in North America and across the globe.

Roberts will be in conversation with Rethinking Schools editor and high school teacher Jesse Hagopian and Cierra Kaler-Jones, a social justice educator and director of storytelling at the Communities for Just Schools Fund.


These online classes with people’s historians are held at least once a month (generally on Mondays) at 4:00 pm PT / 7:00 pm ET for 90 minutes. In each session, the historian is interviewed by a teacher and breakout rooms allow participants to meet each other in small groups, discuss the content, and share teaching ideas. We designed the sessions for teachers and other school staff. Parents, students, and others are also welcome to participate.

Find resources below to teach outside the textbook about the connections between Black freedom and Native American citizenship, and also about the Reconstruction era.

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