Nakia Parker

FacultyAmerican Indian and Indigenous Studies

Assistant Professor
Department of History


Nakia D. Parker is an Assistant Professor in the History Department. Dr. Parker is a historian of nineteenth-century U.S. slavery, African American, and American Indian history. She is currently working on her book manuscript, Trails of Tears and Freedom: Black Life in Indian Slave Country, 1830-1866 which examines the forced migrations, labor practices, family life and kinship networks, and resistance strategies of people of African and Afro-Native descent in Choctaw and Chickasaw slaveholding communities. This project emphasizes the pivotal role of slavery to the dispossession of Native people from their homelands in the Deep South, the physical and legal processes of Choctaw and Chickasaw expulsion, and to resettlement in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). It reconstructs how enslaved people interacted with others who lived in and bordered their new homeland, including Indigenous peoples like the Comanche and the Caddo.

Dr. Parker’s research has received funding and awards from several institutions, including the Association of American University Women (AAUW), the Organization of American Historians (OAH), and the Western History Association. In addition to publishing her scholarship in academic venues, her research has also been featured on several public history websites, including The History Channel, the podcast Teaching Hard History, and The University of Texas at Austin’s 15 Minute History.