Study on Black Homesteaders in the Great Plains Nears Completion

June 26, 2020, noon ·

The Heritage Center at Homestead National Monument of America is one of two visitor centers located in the park. (Photo: Homestead National Monument, Wikimedia Commons)

Homestead National Monument in Beatrice and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are among the organizations that have joined together for a research study called Black Homesteaders in the Great Plains.

Jonathan Fairchild is the historian for the national monument and said until now there hasn’t been much coverage of the Black homestead experience in the Great Plains.

"The study is all about examining Black homesteaders following the Civil War as they arrived in the Great Plans," Fairchild said. "Seeking to build new lives and provide for their families and educate their children."

Fairchild said the study has been going on for several years now and covers six Black homesteading communities across the Great Plains, including one in DeWitty, Nebraska.

Homestead National Monument will spend the next year and a half creating digital content and a traveling exhibition on Black homesteaders as part of this project.