Between the Color Lines: A History of African Americans on the California Frontier from 1769 through Reconstruction
June 21, 2015
Between the Color Lines is a new book by Darius Spearman that explores the meaning of the frontier and how frontier life shaped the experiences of African Americans in California. From precolonial Africa and Spain to the closing of the California frontier in 1890, persons of African descent ventured into a dangerous world for the promise of reaping huge rewards. Their unique experience, however, was defined by a frontier setting in which the conventional rules governing social behavior were largely made up along the way. Between the Color Lines also explores how African Americans and the sectional debate over the expansion of slavery shaped California politics. The diverse array of characters on the California frontier reveal insightful stories of survival and ingenuity that can be found nowhere else but Between the Color Lines.