Homesteading has many benefits and can be done at any stage in life. Start small with your first garden, learn to keep chickens or bees.
Before you get started, think about what you want to achieve on your homestead and how you can make it happen. Having goals will help motivate you to keep going when things aren’t working out.
A three-year grant from the National Park Service is examining the role Black Homesteaders played in the history of present-day Oklahoma.
“I would say the first unique part of this project is the fact that Oklahoma had the largest number of Black homesteaders out of all of the states that have been studied overall. And so the sheer number of people is really important,” said Kalenda Eaton, associate professor of African and African American studies at the University of Oklahoma and director of the Oklahoma Black Homesteader Project.
She added that many Black homesteaders came from nearby states, including Arkansas, Texas, and Kansas, but also Tennessee and elsewhere.
This project is important, Eaton said, because it pre-dates the Great Migration, the 20th century movement of millions of Black Southerners to the North, Midwest, and West.
“This study that we’re conducting is a part of a funded project by the National Park Service that really details who these individuals were, what the communities were that were established, that were not so well known, or maybe even towns, but just kind of large communities, what the effects of the migration was on the South on communities that were already established in the West. And then also, what the experience says were of people who left everything behind it for the most part, and then decided to venture out west,” she added.