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Freedom Colonies: Independent African American Communities in Post–Civil War Texas

After the Civil War, newly freed African Americans in Texas began to establish their own communities in order to live as independent citizens. Like African Americans in other southern states, they built communities that were often in segregated, urban areas in or adjacent to major southern cities. In Texas, newly freed African Americans settled in areas adjacent to cities such as Dallas and Houston. These African American communities were called “freedmen’s towns.” African Americans also established independent rural colonies where they owned land, farmed, and established their own separate communities from Whites. Indeed, one could argue that getting as far away as possible from White control and White people was one of the primary motivations for the “freedom colonies” that African Americans developed in ...

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