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This video is an introduction to how families took part in the Homestead Act of 1862 to forge promising futures for generations to come.
The promise of land brought homesteaders across the nation. Many black homesteaders came in groups or colonies. The homesteaders created all-black or mostly-black self-governing rural communities. The histories of these communities combine national and regional themes which reveal new dimensions about slavery, black migration, education, liberty, and the earliest iterations of what we now refer to as the Civil Rights Movement.
- Black Homesteaders in the Great Plains
Historic Photos & Papers
Learn more about the lives of black homesteaders through photographs and documents related to their lives including homesteading case files stored at the National Archives.
The Black Homesteaders Project
This project began as a Historic Resources Study for the National Park Service by the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The researchers at UNL have been studying six black homesteading communities in six Great Plains states: Nicodemus, Kansas; DeWitty, Nebraska; Sully County, South Dakota; Empire, Wyoming; Dearfield, Colorado; and Blackdom, New Mexico.