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Other titles in the Indians of the Southeast series:
Searching for the Bright Path: The Mississippi Choctaws from Prehistory to Removalby James Taylor Carson
Synopses & Reviews
When the Choctaws were removed from their Mississippi homeland to Indian Territory in 1830, several thousand remained behind, planning to take advantage of Article 14 in the removal treaty, which promised that any Choctaws who wished to remain in Mississippi could apply for allotments of land. When the remaining Choctaws applied for their allotments, however, the government reneged, and the Choctaws were left dispossessed and impoverished. Thus begins the history of the Mississippi Choctaws as a distinct people.
Despite overwhelming poverty and significant racial prejudice in the rural South, the Mississippi Choctaws managed, over the course of a century and a half, to maintain their ethnic identity, persuade the Office of Indian Affairs to provide them with services and lands, create a functioning tribal government, and establish a prosperous and stable reservation economy. The Choctawsand#8217; struggle against segregation in the 1950s and 1960s is an overlooked story of the civil rights movement, and this study of white supremacist support for Choctaw tribalism considerably complicates our understanding of southern history. Choctaw Resurgence in Mississippi traces the Choctawand#8217;s remarkable tribal rebirth, attributing it to their sustained political and social activism.
Blending an engaging narrative style with broader theoretical considerations, James Taylor Carson offers the most complete history to date of the Mississippi Choctaws. Tracing the Choctaws from their origins in the Mississippian cultures of late prehistory to the early nineteenth century, Carson shows how the Choctaws struggled to adapt to life in a New World altered radically by contact while retaining their sense of identity and place. Despite changes in subsistence practices and material culture, the Choctaws made every effort to retain certain core cultural beliefs and sensibilities, a strategy they conceived of as following and#8220;the straight bright path.and#8221; This work also makes a significant theoretical contribution to ethnohistory as Carson confronts common problems in the historical analysis of Native peoples.
About the Author
James Taylor Carson is an associate professor of history at Queenand#8217;s University in Kingston, Ontario.
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History and Social Science » Native American » General Native American Studies