Tiya Miles Ties That Bind Summary Essay

There is an incredible array of different historical writings and interpretations of slavery in America in the Antebellum period. One could be mistaken into thinking that there is nothing left to research and debate. Yet, what is rarely mentioned in the annals of American history are the profound effects slavery has had on the Native American nations. Hoping to illuminate this often overlooked part in American history, Tiya Miles, author of Ties That Bind: The Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom, gives a chilling view into a part of American history that many may not know about and may wish not to know of. Miles work follows the story and life of Shoe Boots (a Cherokee), Doll (his African slave and wife), and their children. In examining this strange and unique family dynamic, Miles seeks to gain a broader picture of the interconnected relationships of slavery, race, gender, family, and citizenship in the Cherokee Nation. Both investigative and critical at times, Miles’s Ties That Bind: The Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom is an impressive beast of a book that successfully goads its readers into provocative discussions and debates about the nature of racism, nationality and the harsh byproducts of slavery.
The story is divided into two…

The Boots family was the first Afro-Cherokee union to be officially recognized by the Cherokee National government. In her eyes, this was enough to warrant a book or two, yet still, she saw an even grandeur purpose for them. They were the perfect measuring tool to be used to gauge the societal change occurring from the late 18th century to early 20th century. For Miles, the story of the Boots family encapsulates the bombastic nature of European colonialism, the increasing emergence and prevalence of African chattel, and the slow erosion of old Native American customs and…