It is always wonderful using a reading written by a colleague. This week, students enrolled in my “Antebellum America” class will visit Moundville Archaelogical Park and ponder what power looks like with preColumbian indigenous people who lived in Alabama and antebellum Cherokee slaveholder Joseph Vann, as offered in a historical study by historian Tiya Miles, in mind. Is freedom the ability to be mobile?
To trade with those who look like you?
To embrace one’s culture and maintain the stories of the elders?
To be “modern”?
To be wealthy in a capitalistic society? I cannot wait to see what my students think.
The last time I walked up those ancient mounds just south of Tuscaloosa, I was with my doctoral dissertation adviser Dave Rodieger and Trudier Harris, UA Professor of English and another mentor.
It was Dave who first introduced me to Tiya’s work. I co-presented her study on the ties between Cherokee people and enslaved African Americans in his class on racial formation. I have also used her novel The Cherokee Rose in my American Civilization to 1865 class.
It will also be great sharing what I know about Native Americans with upper level students.
Meanwhile, I am digging signs of autumn.
The basil in our backyard will soon be picked for drying.
Also grateful for the rainbow I saw day before yesterday.
And the memory of how far I’ve come when I pick up microfilm! Serendipity! The Miami Herald, my former employer, and my alma mater University of Miami, are presently before me for research purposes.
Indeed, UA had to order old issues of the Herald from UM. Now, if I could remember how to use a microfilm machine! Or find one that works.
All this as I think about that 2021 season opener between Miami and Alabama. Oh, boy. That’ll be a Roll Tide-It’s About the U moment if I’ve ever seen one.