Edwards: History of black homesteaders who pioneered the west is disappearing

· 2 min read

Edwards: History of black homesteaders who pioneered the west is disappearing

The Hannah family harvests hay in Cherry County, Nebraska.
Courtesy photo | Great Plains Black History Museum
The Hannah family harvests hay in Cherry County, Nebraska.

The online edition of the Washington Post recently featured an opinion by Nebraska's Richard Edwards that examines the disappearing history of black homesteaders who pioneered the West.

Richard Edwards
Richard Edwards

The opinion outlines once vibrant African American homesteading communities that have fallen into ruin and how the spirit of these pioneers is mostly forgotten today. The opinion, which published July 5, is available here.

Along with serving as director of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln's Center for Great Plains Studies, Edwards is also director of the Black Homesteaders in the Great Plains project. The project, which recently received a second grant from the National Park Service, is focused on preserving the history of six black homesteader communities — Nicodemus, Kansas; DeWitty, Nebraska; Dearfield, Colorado; Sully County, South Dakota; Empire, Wyoming; and Blackdom, New Mexico. Read more about the project in Nebraska Today.


This is a Nebraska Today feature that showcases the writings and research-related opinions of University of Nebraska–Lincoln faculty. Submit items for consideration to tfedderson@unl.edu. Receipt does not guarantee publication. For more information, call 402-472-8515.