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Blackdom, New Mexico, founded in 1903 by Francis Boyer and twelve other enterprising African Americans, is one of the state’s most important, yet often most overlooked town. Despite its importance and relevance, the history of this township has been obscured from mainstream history for several decades. We will hear from an interdisciplinary panel of speakers who each have unique insights on the cultural and historical significance of the Blackdom township with a live Q&A from the audience to follow.


Dr. Timothy E. Nelson is a Historian, Professor, Philosopher whose multi-faceted work concerns racism, ambition, and the search for opportunity. These themes were revealed in his 2015 Ph.D. dissertation The Significance of the Afro-Frontier. Dr. Nelson was born in South Central LA, raised in Compton, during the early 1990s in the wake of race and class-based conflict with the LAPD. He earned his Ph.D. from (UTEP) the University of Texas at El Paso. Visit:

Janice Dunnahoo is an Archivist for the Historical Society of Southeastern New Mexico; Public Historical Speaker for local Government and Civic Organizations; Contributing author for publications such as West Texas Historical Association Newsletter, Wild West Journal, True West magazine, Texas-New Mexico Border Archives Journal, Roswell Daily Record newspaper; Weekly Historical Columnist for Roswell Daily Record newspaper, (Roswell, New Mexico) under the heading of “Historically Speaking”; Contributing author for a book titled “Notable Black Women in Texas History,” which is in progress; and a panelist for the Western History Association Conference 2020.

Maya L. Allen is a PhD student in Biology at the University of New Mexico who focuses on how plants cope with environmental heterogeneity and a particular underlying mechanism, phenotypic plasticity – the ability for a single genotype to differentially express alternative phenotypes based on the environment. In returning to her home state of New Mexico, Ms. Allen has also researched the history of Blackdom, the first all-Black settlement in the state, in an effort to rectify the erasure of the Black botanical contributions and highlight the Black botanical experience.

Geni Flores is the coordinator of bilingual and TESOL education at Eastern New Mexico University. She is a former instructor of Multicultural Education including “the Multicultural Heritage of the Southwest.” She has studied Blackdom at length and has presented over this topic at the university and public school levels.



Afro-Frontier [afrō-frənˈtir] – Adjective, Adverb; a perpetual motion in a continuum of African descendants [Afrofrontierism; Afrofrontierists] deliberately using migration and colonization as a way of realizing their own definition of being fully human by taking initiative and authority over their lives.

Sovereign Minds. Sovereign Bodies. Sovereign Spaces.