14 Sep 2023 / 14 Sep 2023

Blackdom, New Mexico: The Significance of the Afro-Frontier

Sep 14, 2023 At Marlene Nathan Meyerson Auditorium

Join us for Dr. Nelson’s book launch – Blackdom, New Mexico: The Significance of the Afro-Frontier (1900-1930). Historian Timothy E. Nelson and Matthew Contos, Director of Creativity & Learning will explore the notions of Afrotopia; Q&A and book-signing to follow.

2023-09-14 18:00:00 2023-09-14 7:30:00 America/Denver Blackdom, New Mexico Another amazing event at SITE Santa Fe Marlene Nathan Meyerson Auditorium SITE Santa Fe info@sitesantafe.org

About Dr. Timothy E. Nelson

Dr. Timothy E. Nelson was born in South Central Los Angeles, was raised in Compton, California during the early 1990s, and went to Santa Monica Community College in the wake of race and class-based conflict with the Los Angeles Police Department. Dr. Nelson played football at Compton High School, Compton Community College, and Santa Monica College before transferring to New Mexico State University, where he was awarded a scholarship. He graduated from New Mexico State University with a bachelor’s degree in U.S. History. Continuing to maintain ties with Compton, Dr. Nelson set up an admissions program to bring high schoolers from Compton to New Mexico State University. During his time completing a master’s degree in Black History at the University of Northern Iowa, Dr. Nelson also earned a commission as an officer in the US Army. He earned his PhD from the University of Texas at El Paso. He was the Racial Justice Director at the YWCA El Paso del Norte Region—the largest YWCA in the United States. He is also a proud charter member of his chapter of Phi Beta Sigma, whose motto is “Culture for Service and Service For Humanity.” Through his 2015 dissertation as well as his current outreach, Dr. Nelson’s goal is uncovering and advocating for untold stories through various forms of art: academic books, trade books, screenplays, painting, photography, videography, and digitally applying his theory of colonization within the digital frontier. https://afrofrontier.com/

About the Book

Many believed that Blackdom was simply abandoned. However, new evidence shows that the scheme to build generational wealth continued to exist throughout the twentieth century in other forms. During Blackdom’s boom times, in December 1919, Blackdom Oil Company shifted town business from a regenerative agricultural community to a more extractive model. Nelson has uncovered new primary source materials that suggest for Blackdom a newly discovered third decade. This story has never been fully told or contextualized until now.

Reoriented to Mexico’s “northern frontier,” one observes Black ministers, Black military personnel, and Black freemasons who colonized as part of the transmogrification of Indigenous spaces into the American West. Nelson’s concept of the Afro-Frontier evokes a “Turnerian West,” but it is also fruitfully understood as a Weberian “Borderland.” Its history highlights a brief period and space that nurtured Black cowboy culture. While Blackdom’s civic presence was not lengthy, its significance—and that of the Afro-Frontier—is an important window in the history of Afrotopias, Black Consciousness, and the notion of an American West.

“This focus and interconnecting of Borderlands history with the interdisciplinary-transdisciplinary nature of Africana scholarship gives Blackdom the potential to be the model for our understanding of Black Town formation and function in the twenty-first century.” Herbert G. Ruffin II, Associate Professor Syracuse University, Arts & Sciences, African American Studies, Syracuse, New York, January 3, 2023

“The most energetic and persistent promoter of remembering Blackdom, however, is Dr. Timothy E. Nelson, who in addition to his pioneering scholarship has organized or partnered with others to create various multimedia presentations about Blackdom.” Chp. 13. Struggles at Blackdom, Page 327, The First Migrants, Richard Edwards and Jacob K. Friefeld June 17, 2023