Ties That Bind: The Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom (American Crossroads)

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More Details Original Title. American Crossroads Frederick Jackson Turner Award Other Editions 6. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Ties That Bind , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. May 18, Ross rated it liked it. Ties That Bind is an inspiring example of self-conscious, responsible, well-researched work in the face of gaps and absences in the historical record.

Miles's use of an Afro-Cherokee family to analyze the tenuous racial boundaries between white, black, and Native Americans in the nineteenth century shows how one may reasonably extrapolate knowledge from case studies and comparative research practices.

Ties That Bind

She recognizes and carefully navigates what George B. Most importantly, she acknowledges when she is hypothesizing and explains to the reader that conjectural work is being done. Miles shows that guesswork is not an academic crime. In fact, she shows that is an essential tool to any serious scholar, but it must be used responsibly, self-consciously, and transparently. After reading her re-creation of their family story, I immediately drew comparisons to those who feel marginalized by societal categories of belonging, specifically categories of gender and nationality.

Mar 25, Jamie rated it really liked it. Still hard to comprehend the uproar this book has caused within American Studies circles. Jun 15, Richard rated it really liked it Shelves: african-american-history-etc , native-american-history-etc.

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As with her nonfiction books on Detroit and the Plantation the scholarship in this book is impressive. The author skillfully integrates information from historians, anthropologists, and others to provide a comprehensive picture of the complex and at times very troubling relationship which the Cherokee people had with their African American slaves and the few so c Having learned a great deal from Miles' books on Detroit, the Plantation on Diamond Hill, and Cherokee Rose I decided to try this one. But she also made many observations about the differences between slavery in White Southern society and the manner in which it was established, functioned, and evolved in Cherokee society over the course of the 19th century leading up to the Civil War.

She then carefully made reference to fiction by renowned African American author Toni Morrison or well known Native American writers like Silko or Momoday to articulate what Doll's experiences might have been like. One modest criticism is that the maps provided include places which are not noted in the text.


  1. About the Book!
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  4. Ties That Bind: The Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom by Tiya Miles.
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Miles probably did this in hopes of being thorough. However, I found it a bit troublesome to actually find a town or some other place discussed in the text because there were so many places noted on a map. Miles is an accomplished historian who does fine work. I look forward to reading other books of hers in the coming years. View 2 comments. May 02, Andee Nero rated it really liked it. I feel kind of conflicted about this book because, on the one hand, it takes a stab at discussing a pretty controversial subject and I appreciate that.

On The Cherokee Rose, Historical Fiction, and Silences in the Archives

I think this book really just raises more questions for me though. She asks a lot of questions about Doll that are impossible to answer. She relies on literature, like Beloved, to fill in these gaps, but it feels insufficient. I like that the boo I feel kind of conflicted about this book because, on the one hand, it takes a stab at discussing a pretty controversial subject and I appreciate that.

I like that the book raises these questions though because it gives future scholars something to which they can aspire to explain. Nov 25, Leena rated it it was amazing Shelves: non-fiction. A compelling and informative narrative that centers on the experience of one Afro-Cherokee family from their time in what is now Georgia, through their removal to what is now Oklahoma, and to the civil war and its aftermath. The story exposes the intersections of nationalism on many levels , slavery, immigration, rebellions, revolts, bad gov't, good gov't, capitalism, coercion, survival, identification, and so much more.

The writing is clear and easy to follow, but the subject matter is a l A compelling and informative narrative that centers on the experience of one Afro-Cherokee family from their time in what is now Georgia, through their removal to what is now Oklahoma, and to the civil war and its aftermath. The writing is clear and easy to follow, but the subject matter is a lot to take in.

I felt the author did an excellent job weaving it all together. Mar 06, Deb rated it it was amazing Shelves: finished. This book shares the evolution of an American family. I am fascinated with this story and highly recommend it, though it is written as a textbook - so be forewarned. Feb 16, Rick rated it it was amazing. This is a really important adjunct to understanding the relationships between Black and other Native Americans today, particularly the mass disfranchisement of members of the "Five Tribes.

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May 22, Kidada rated it really liked it. Great read for developing a deeper understanding of the very complex relationships between African Americans and Native peoples. Jun 29, Mary Mckernan rated it liked it. Mar 26, M. The research is thorough and the argument is clear. The analysis could stand to be a little sharper, but it is a useful book nonetheless. Feb 15, Josh Reid rated it it was amazing.

Spectacular example of history! Engaging narrative and impressive research in a tough subject.


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  • Mar 07, Yunis Esa rated it really liked it. Great grasp of both the African slavery in the Cherokee and the 19th century of Cherokee people. Jun 08, Lizz rated it it was amazing. Love this book. It's a very unique approach to retelling history. Aug 08, Joy rated it it was amazing. Doll emerges as an especially poignant character, whose life is mostly known through the records of things done to her—her purchase, her marriage, the loss of her children—but also through her moving petition to the federal government for the pension owed to her as Shoe Boots's widow.

    A sensitive rendition of the hard realities of black slavery within Native American nations, the book provides the fullest picture we have of the myriad complexities, ironies, and tensions among African Americans, Native Americans, and whites in the first half of the nineteenth century.

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    Updated with a new preface and an appendix of key primary sources, this remains an essential book for students of Native American history, African American history, and the history of race and ethnicity in the United States. Among other notable prizes and fellowships, she was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in Books Digital Products Journals. Disciplines History African American History.

    About the Book This beautifully written book, now in its second edition, tells the haunting saga of a quintessentially American family. Building on meticulous and inspired historical detective work, Miles shows what it might have felt like to be a slave and reassesses the convoluted ideas about race that slavery generated and left as a legacy.



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