Photo taken in Essex, MO - State Historical Society of Missouri

This site is a work in progress. It was created to share documents, images, and interviews that reflect African American history in the Missouri Bootheel historical narratives. I hope the resources on this site can be used by educators, historians, and communities to change the power structures that have produced historical gaps and silences. Although the geographical boundaries of the Bootheel can be debated, this site focuses on Pemiscot, Stoddard, Dunklin, Mississippi, New Madrid, and Scott counties.

Most archival materials are in the public domain or are available for non-commercial use through institutions like the Library of Congress. Rights are designated on the item pages. Other materials are interviews and images I created or co-created while doing research for my dissertation.

The image on the right was taken in Essex, Missouri and is from the State Historical Society of Missouri photograph collections.


Heidi Dodson is the CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Scholarship at the University at Buffalo. Most recently she was the Oral History Scholar-in-Residence at the Marian Cheek Jackson Center for Saving and Making History in Chapel Hill, NC. She completed her Ph.D. in history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2016. Heidi was born in St. Louis County and grew up in Sikeston, MO.