An American Dilemma: The Archaeology of Race Riots Past, Present, and Future

Author(s): Edward Gonzalez-Tennant

Year: 2016


At the center of Myrdal’s An American Dilemma is the understanding that cycles of violence continue to oppress African Americans. His dilemma refers to the inconsistency between this cycle and the national ethos of upward social mobility. The situation remains unchanged for many minorities today. This paper charts how this cycle of violence has transformed through time by drawing upon the author’s ongoing work in Rosewood, Florida and elsewhere. Although an archaeology of American race riots remains in its infancy, such a project holds great promise for illuminating the causes and consequences of racial violence in the nation’s past, present, and future. Theoretical insights from critical race theory (CRT) further illuminate the complex ways interpersonal violence, institutional racism, and symbolic thought interrelate through time to disenfranchise minorities. The paper concludes by discussing innovative ways new technologies can support the public intellectual goals of historical archaeology and work to combat racism.

Cite this Record

An American Dilemma: The Archaeology of Race Riots Past, Present, and Future. Edward Gonzalez-Tennant. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434324)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 391