Kyle E. Ciani, Reviews Editor
In Search of the Racial Frontier: African Americans in the American West, 1528-1990.
By Quintard Taylor. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1998. 415 Pages, illustrations, charts, notes, bibliography, index. $15.95 Paperback.
In Search of the Racial Frontier is a major book which has filled a huge void in the history of the west. In it Quintard Taylor has written the first major, comprehensive, scholarly account of African Americans in the West. It is a full and fascinating story which goes a long way to bringing the experiences and contributions of Black Americans into the mainstream of United States historiography. There are little known stories, such as the absorption of many African-Americans into Native American cultures, as well as the better known accounts of Black farmers, cowboys, business owners, entertainers, and Buffalo soldiers. He also has explored the issue of African American freedom in the west, and the long, long struggle for personal, economic, political and legal equality. This is a book of the highest quality and one which can be recommended almost without reservation. Unfortunately it does not mention San Diego in the book, so readers will not find specific data on San Diego African Americans. The book is still extremely important for local historians, as it will enable them to put the story of San Diego Black Americans into a bigger context.