Watch Dr. Roberts tell her family's story in a clip from the documentary film,
The Real Wild West

"Combining family history and rigorous research, this brilliant text deepens our understanding of post-Civil War Reconstruction by interrogating what happened in Indian Territory, revealing the layered wreckage wrought on the Native nations and formerly enslaved Africans, all entrapped in the pernicious logic of settler-colonialism."

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States


Alaina Roberts is smiling outside with a trees and greenery in the background

Alaina E. Roberts is an award-winning 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 Associate 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.

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—brick and mortar as well as online.

In addition to multiple academic articles, Dr. Roberts’s writing has appeared in news outlets like the Washington PostTIME magazine, and High Country News, and her work has been featured in the New York TimesCNNThe Atlantic, the Boston Globe, and more.