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Horrors in the Red River Valley


Many bad men lived and killed along the Red River.

It would be easy to ignore the racism that has manifested itself throughout the Red River Valley, because who wants to read about horrible things? But it would be historically and intellectually dishonest to pretend that this area was not besieged by hate.


The Red River Valley was peopled by tribes that warred with each other, then colonists who took over the lands and introduced the concept of race-based slavery, and then by residents who believed myths of nationalism and superiority. This is the South, after all, with the resultant cultist-style behaviors and selective memories.


The articles shared on this page are not new histories to African American readers, but invariably elicit statements of "I never knew" by white readers. It is lamentable that this history is not only "not taught," but is actively being subverted. That's the danger of personalizing history: it substantiates myths and defensiveness rather than elicit analysis. And as historians, we MUST be truthful and recognize injustice because otherwise, what's the point of studying it?

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