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Beyond Forty Acres and a MuleAfrican American Landowning Families since Reconstruction$
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Debra Reid and Evan Bennett

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813039862

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813039862.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 23 May 2022

James E. Youngblood: Race, Family, and Farm Ownership in Jim Crow Texas

James E. Youngblood: Race, Family, and Farm Ownership in Jim Crow Texas

(p.63) 3 James E. Youngblood: Race, Family, and Farm Ownership in Jim Crow Texas
Beyond Forty Acres and a Mule

Keith J. Volanto

University Press of Florida

Keith J. Volanto traces the history of one biracial man, James E. Youngblood, from his progenitors' trek from Alabama to Texas during the 1850s (including slaves and their white owners), his acquisition of land in 1894, and his conveyance of his property to his wife in 1946. Volanto delves into complicated race and family relationships that helped define light-skinned James E. Youngblood's life. Racial ambiguity (association with whites as a bound laborer and social distance from his black family) allowed Youngblood to emerge in post-Reconstruction Texas as a prosperous farmer. He secured economic security through domination of his own large hardworking family, agricultural diversification, self-sufficiency, and connections with markets, but this did not guarantee him full citizenship or equal rights. Youngblood prospered not because of deep connections within African American communities but almost despite these associations. Instead, connections to extended white kin allowed Youngblood to become the “Squire of Limestone County.”

Keywords:   James E. Youngblood, Alabama, Texas, family, biracial, light-skinned, slaves, diversification, self-sufficiency

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