Slavery was abolished, but the beliefs that justified it were not.

Just as the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and the Dawes Act of 1887 were used to strip Native tribes of their land and force massive migrations that cleared the way for white land ownership, Reconstruction in the United States ensured that land remained in white hands. Immediately after the Civil War, some of the confiscated Confederate land was distributed to newly freed Black people, but those allocations were taken back as the government chose to reconcile with former Confederates instead of the formerly enslaved. Black people, even those who had small landholdings, were still forced to depend on white landowners for work.

Black families also migrated; they moved westward to Oklahoma, where the freedmen, formerly enslaved people who were tribal members, had land allotments and community. They moved north to cities like New York and Chicago, where they were safer but not safe. Slavery was abolished, but the beliefs that justified it were not. White supremacist attacks on the Black home persisted for decades after emancipation, regardless of where they lived. The race riots of Atlanta (1906), East St. Louis (1917), Omaha and Chicago (1919), and the massacre in Tulsa (1921) were coordinated attacks on Black prosperity. Black homes were confined to certain neighborhoods, and Indigenous homes were confined to reservations. Both types of home were precarious and impossible to protect. 

From “Becoming Kin: An Indigenous Call to Unforgetting the Past and Reimagining Our Future” by Patty Krawec – Broadleaf Books