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An Afro-Indigenous History of the United States

An Afro-Indigenous History of the United States

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The first intersectional history of the Black and Native American struggle for freedom in our country that also reframes our understanding of who was Indigenous in early America

Beginning with pre-Revolutionary America and moving into the movement for Black lives and contemporary Indigenous activism, Afro-Indigenous historian Kyle T. Mays argues that the foundations of the US are rooted in antiblackness and settler colonialism, and that these parallel oppressions continue into the present. He explores how Black and Indigenous peoples have always resisted and struggled for freedom, sometimes together, and sometimes apart. Whether to end African enslavement and Indigenous removal or eradicate capitalism and colonialism, Mays show how the fervor of Black and Indigenous peoples calls for justice have consistently sought to uproot white supremacy.

Mays uses a wide array of historical activists and pop culture icons, “sacred” texts, and foundational texts like the 
Declaration of Independence and Democracy in America. He covers the civil rights movement and freedom struggles of the 1960s and 1970s and explores current debates around the use of Native American imagery and the cultural appropriation of Black culture. Mays compels us to rethink both our history as well as contemporary debates and to imagine the powerful possibilities of Afro-Indigenous solidarity.

Includes an 8-page photo insert featuring Kwame Ture with Dennis Banks and Russell Means at the Wounded Knee Trials; Angela Davis walking with Oren Lyons after he leaves Wounded Knee, SD; former South African president Nelson Mandela with Clyde Bellecourt; and more.

About the Author

Kyle T. Mays is an Afro-Indigenous (Saginaw Chippewa) writer and scholar of US history, urban studies, race relations, and contemporary popular culture. He is an Assistant Professor of African American Studies, American Indian Studies, and History at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of Hip Hop Beats, Indigenous Rhymes: Modernity and Hip Hop in Indigenous North America.