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Member Spotlight: Timothy Eugene Nelson

author Timothy Nelson and an image of his book Blackdom, New Mexico

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? This book is the refined version and further developed work of my dissertation. It’s important to the world because it is going to impact history. My book reorients, Blackdom, New Mexico to Mexico’s “northern frontier,” [allowing one to observe] Black ministers, Black military personnel, and Black freemasons who colonized as part of the transmogrification of Indigenous spaces into the American West. [My] concept of the Afro-Frontier evokes a “Turnerian West,” but it is also fruitfully understood as a Weberian “Borderland.” Its history highlights a brief period and space that nurtured Black cowboy culture. While Blackdom’s civic presence was not lengthy, its significance—and that of the Afro-Frontier—is an important window in the history of Afrotopias, Black Consciousness, and the notion of an American West.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? I don’t have writer’s block. I have NOT today. I’ve learned when it is time to quit.

What is your favorite time to write? Late at night into the morning.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Four (4) hours max one of my professors suggested; and I try to observe it. I write for four (4) hours and then edit for 4 hours.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? The digital component. Writing is solitary and with the current digital component there is some instant feedback. It makes me feel less isolated.

Timothy E. Nelson’s Blackdom, New Mexico: The Significance of the Afro-Frontier, 1900–1930 is out July 15 with Texas Tech University Press.