By James N. Leiker
Despised through the white settlers they secure, many black squaddies have been despatched to posts alongside the Texas-Mexico border— appeared to be a “safe position to place them.” The interactions there between blacks, whites, and Hispanics through the interval best as much as the Punitive excursion and global conflict I provide the chance to review the advanced, even paradoxical nature of yankee race kinfolk. James N. Leiker has utilized the subtle views of latest social heritage to the adventure of the buffalo infantrymen and their legacy in southern and western Texas on the way to achieve new perception approximately race within the West.
Racial Borders establishes the army’s primary function in remodeling the Rio Grande from a “frontier” right into a “border” and indicates how that transformation itself introduced a tightening of racial and nationwide different types. yet extra importantly, it warns concerning the hazards of simplifying historical past into groupings of “white and non-white,” “oppressors and oppressed.”
Leiker attracts on Mexican and U.S. army files and Texas nation and black nationwide newspapers to do greater than offer an account of the transferring loyalties of race and nationalism alongside the Rio Grande over a fifty-year span; he reminds students and reformers concerning the tangled heritage of race kinfolk in America.
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