- Paperback: 327 pages
- Publisher: University of California Press; 1 edition (August 7, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0520250028
- ISBN-13: 978-0520250024
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #685,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ties That Bind: The Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom Paperback – August 7, 2006
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Ties That Bind is a haunting and innovative book. Tiya Miles refuses to avoid or cover over the most painful aspects of the shared stories of Indians and African Americans. Instead, Miles passionately defends the need to explore history, even when the facts provided by history are not those that contemporary people want to hear.”Peggy Pascoe, author of Relations of Rescue: The Search for Female Moral Authority in the American West, 1874-1939
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Miles used the Shoeboots family’s experiences to illustrate the larger interactions between Native Americans, whites, and African Americans in the nineteenth century. Her sources reflected this attempt to intersect race, gender, and legal status. Miles analyzed local newspapers, census records, and court documents to piece together a specific story of the Shoeboots family. She then researched primary and secondary to both fill in the gaps of the Shoeboot legacy and to discuss the larger world of the U.S. South and the interactions between the different races and genders. For instance, Miles put forth the novel, Beloved, to discuss the experience of female slaves as a mirror to what wife, mother, and slave Doll must have felt.
Miles made a convincing claim that the traditional history of the interactions between Native Americans, whites, and African Americans should be challenged and even rethought. The intersections of these different races and genders through the lens of the Shoeboots family revealed that all groups were not isolated in this new, interconnected nation.
If you are even remotely interested in this period of history, by all means read this book. Tiya did a very nice job tying in all aspects of what was taking place in Georgia before and after Andrew Jackson got involved.
Reads well, not like a school text book.
For history buffs, this book details the status of women, slaves, Africans, Natives in a new and interesting way.
I was alerted to its existence by Ilene Shepard Smiddy, author of DAUGHTER OF SHILOH, also a splendid narrative/adventure retelling a part of the Shoeboots story, but centering on Clarinda Allington and her children.
Dr. Miles provides us with a helpful family tree in the front of the book, and inside there are maps that help orient the story. The historical asides and reflections using Toni Morrison's BELOVED are treasures. Inside too are several illustrations and pictures, including one of a Shoeboots descendant. The text is divided into logical chapters. The notes are easy to follow and delicious to read, and they are followed by a full bibliography and a comprehensive index.
I would like to see the notes expanded to include the family of Napoleon Bonaparte, perhaps a grandson of Shoeboots, or of one of the Shoeboots, and who entered the mainstream population in Kentucky as a free black.
As Dr. Miles points out, there was more than one individual who was referred to as the Boot or Shoeboots (and other nicknames, in both English and Cherokee), and I suspect that this was a concept name involving the crow or the rooster--the hero of a Cherokee parable. It is fascinating to read about here, and her arguments are engaging. Highly recommended reading!