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Alaina E. Roberts      

Award-Winning Black & Indigenous Historian; Assistant Professor at University of Pittsburgh; Author of "I’ve Been Here All the While"

Alaina E. Roberts is an award-winning African American, Chickasaw, and Choctaw historian who studies the intersection of Black and Native American life from the Civil War to the modern day. This focus originates from her own family history: her father’s ancestors survived Indian Removal’s Trail of Tears and were owned as slaves by Chickasaw and Choctaw Indians.

Currently an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Roberts holds a Doctorate in History from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Arts in History, with honors, from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

She writes, teaches, and presents public talks about Black and Native history in the West, family history, slavery in the Five Tribes (the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Cherokee, Creek, and Seminole Indian Nations), Native American enrollment politics, and Indigeneity in North America and across the globe.

In addition to multiple academic articles, her writing has appeared in news outlets like the Washington Post, High Country News, and TIME magazine, and she has been profiled by CNN, Smithsonian Magazine, and the Boston Globe.

Her book, "I’ve Been Here All the While: Black Freedom on Native Land" is available for purchase at Amazon as well as at a variety of bookstores and websites.

Speech Topics

Family history and its Importance in Understanding Broader American culture

Juneteenth and the varieties of Black slavery and emancipation across North America

Strength in Diversity: Using Knowledge of the Past to create Present Relationships

Building relationships between people of color/strength in diversity through knowledge of the past.


Remembering the history of ‘Black Wall Street’
The story of prosperity of Black communities in Tulsa, Oklahoma is incomplete without discussing their roots.
The ways Afro-Indigenous people are asked to navigate their communities
Two leading scholars discuss the complex relationship between Black and Native people.
Reconsidering Wilma Mankiller
As the Cherokee Nation’s first female chief’s image is minted onto a coin, her full humanity should be examined.

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