Timothy Nelson

Independent Historian

Dr. Timothy Nelson addresses and unpacks foundational issues in African American history, the history of the U.S. West, borderlands history, and the history of African diasporas. Dr. Nelson was born in South Central Los Angeles, raised in Compton, California during the early 1990s and went to Santa Monica Community College in the wake of race and class-based conflict with the Los Angeles Police Department.

Dr. Nelson worked his way from Compton and Santa Monica Junior Colleges to New Mexico State University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in U.S. History. Continuing to maintain ties with Compton, Dr. Nelson set up an admissions program to bring high schoolers from Compton to New Mexico State University. During his time completing a master’s degree in Black History at the University of Northern Iowa, Dr. Nelson also earned a commission as an officer in the U.S. Army. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at El Paso. Dr. Nelson was also the Racial Justice Director at the YWCA El Paso del Norte Region, the largest YWCA in the United States. He is a proud charter member of his chapter of Phi Beta Sigma whose motto is “Culture for Service and Service for Humanity.”

Dr. Nelson has not only provided the most in-depth research on Blackdom to date, he has also challenged how the history has been framed, focusing on the economic and social ambitions of Afro-Frontierists (Black pioneers). Through his 2015 dissertation as well as his current outreach, Dr. Nelson’s goal is uncovering and advocating for untold stories. Dr. Nelson lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His thesis can be found here: https://blackdomthesis.com.

Blackdom Oil Company (1919-1930)

Blackdom Oil Company started in 1919 during the Red Summer which marked a year of nationwide violence against Black people. That year Blackdom, New Mexico’s only all-black town, entered into contracts with National Exploration Company and Mescalero Oil Company. Oil was first discovered in southeastern … Read MoreBlackdom Oil Company (1919-1930)

Blackdom, New Mexico (1903-1930)

In the early 1900s, the Pecos Valley Region of Southeastern New Mexico Territory experienced an economic boom because of an influx of settlers into the area. African American families were among those settlers.  They built Blackdom, the only all-black town in the territory and situated … Read MoreBlackdom, New Mexico (1903-1930)