© 2021 MTPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

The Historicity Of Home: Anthony W. Wood And ‘Black Montana’

Anthony Wood
The Write Question
/
Anthony Wood

This week, historian and scholar Anthony W. Wood talks about Black Montana: Settler Colonialism and the Erosion of the Racial Frontier, 1877-1930, an in-depth account of the rise and fall of Montana’s Black communities in the 19th and 20th centuries, of the enduring narratives of white supremacy and cultural erasure in the Rocky Mountain West.

An additional note from host Lauren Korn: I’ve dedicated this episode of The Write Question the late Alan Thompson, a cultural historian whose research and oral histories of Montana’s Black communities have forever changed the way so many of us now view Western History and ideas of “the American West.” Alan was a friend of my father’s, and I have very fond memories of listening to Alan and my dad chatting on our front deck when I was a child, listening to Alan’s distinct, sweet voice and his infectious and generous laughter. May he rest in power.

About Anthony:

Anthony W. Wood is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of Michigan. He worked as a historian for the Montana Historical Society on Montana’s African American Heritage Places Project.

Anthony W. Wood recommends:

In Search of the Racial Frontier: African Americans in the American West 1528-1990 by Quintard Taylor (W. W. Norton & Company)

White Mother to a Dark Race: Settler Colonialism, Maternalism, and the Removal of Indigenous Children in the American West and Australia, 1880-1940 by Margaret D. Jacobs (University of Nebraska Press)

Race and the Wild West: Sarah Bickford, The Montana Vigilantes, and the Tourism of Decline, 1870-1930 by Laura J. Arata (University of Oklahoma Press)

Lauren Korn recommends:

Montana’s African American Heritage Resources Project, including its oral histories conducted by Alan Thompson (Montana Historical Society)

Race and the Wild West: Sarah Bickford, The Montana Vigilantes, and the Tourism of Decline, 1870-1930 by Laura J. Arata (University of Oklahoma Press); and this conversation with Laura J. Arata and Lauren Sharma (Montana Book Festival)

Black Indian by Shonda Buchanan (Wayne State University Press)

A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance by Hanif Abdurraqib (Penguin Random House)

Caste: The Origin of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson (Penguin Random House)

Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs: Living and Writing in the West by Wallace Stegner

Lauren R. Korn holds an M.A. in poetry from the University of New Brunswick, where she was the recipient of the Tom Riesterer Memorial Prize and the Angela Ludan Levine Memorial Book Prize. She is the Director of the Montana Book Festival and the host of Montana Public Radio’s literature-based radio program and podcast, The Write Question.
Related Content
  • This week, Lauren speaks with poet Kaveh Akbar, whose sophomore poetry collection, Pilgrim Bell, empties the self of the self — of one’s nation, or nations, of one’s family, of one’s knowledge — leaving only one’s hollowed, and hallowed, body. An early review of Pilgrim Bell states, “The poetry of Kaveh Akbar reminds you that the body is a temple and that the most astounding shit happens in temples.” Yes. Pilgrim Bell is astounding.
  • In this lively conversation, Lauren and Missoula-based poet, ceramicist, and musician Kelly Schirmann talk about about her newest book of poetry, The New World, and about her creative practices. A hybrid collection of poetry and prose, The New World follows Schirmann’s attempts, failures, and re-attempts at understanding and articulating an era of immense social upheaval, political corruption, and environmental consequence, as well as her place, as an artist, within it.
  • With Home Waters, John N. Maclean, son of Norman Maclean, offers a companion or parallel narrative to his father’s beloved classic, A River Runs Through It.