1619: “Dispossession,” by Tiya Miles
The intersections and conflicts between Black Americans and Native Americans
Hi Book Clubbers! Thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts on last Sunday’s discussion. One idea was to shorten the reflection at the end to allow more time for small group discussion. Another was to lengthen the session to two hours (again: more time for discussion). If you’d like to suggest ways to improve our experience, there’s still time to fill out this quick survey or email me directly.
Before launching into this week’s essay: If you’d like to facilitate a future small group, here’s the sign-up sheet. I’ll follow up with tips and resources.
Welcome to Week 8. Here’s our schedule.
This week, let’s read “Dispossession,” by Tiya Miles. The essay explores the intersections and conflicts between Black American and Indigenous American experiences. Specifically, Prof. Miles explains how the U.S. Government, in its effort to “civilize” Native Americans and take their land, encouraged citizens of the Cherokee Nation to enslave Black Americans.
Native and Black people were “the first and the forced” Americans. These populations share a distinctive history, but at the same time they have faced each other across what has often been a deep divide.
For me, this is the most complex chapter of the book so far. I certainly learned a lot (and was frustrated that much of this history was news to me). My hope is that, if you’re moved, you’ll share some of your thoughts down below in the comments.
Read “Dispossession,” by Tiya Miles.
Recommended: After reading this essay, what are you left thinking about? Please share your contribution in the comments. And say hi to your fellow group members, too, while you’re at it!
Also, please feel free to reach out. All you need to do is hit reply. Let’s build momentum and make this book club a deep and transformative one. Thank you and have a great week!