Arkansas Tech University graduate student Kimberly Green is the inaugural winner of a nationally competitive research fellowship offered through the Central Arkansas Library System.
As the winner of the 2022 David Stricklin Research Fellowship, Green will receive $1,000 to aid in research for her forthcoming master’s thesis.
Her thesis project, entitled “Their Struggles Continued: Contraband Camps of Civil War Arkansas,” will investigate the challenges and opportunities that awaited those who escaped slavery amid the conflict between the United States of America and the Confederate States of America.
“Contraband camps were makeshift communities housing people who ran away from slavery during the American Civil War,” wrote Green in the abstract for her thesis. “The term ‘contraband,’ used by U.S. Army officials, reveals runaways’ quasi-free status in the eyes of the Union army, who managed the sites. Civil War contraband camps not only existed to secure the safety of Black refugees but also became centers of active recruitment for the Union army.
“Unaware of what the future might hold,” continued Green, “African Americans employed a day-to-day approach to make sense of their situation, emphasizing community, self-sufficiency and safety. Many viewed the contraband camps as springboards to a successful and autonomous life free from enslavement.”
Green, who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from ATU, completed her second semester in the ATU Master of Arts degree program in history in spring 2022.
The namesake of the research fellowship, David Stricklin, served as administrative head for the Butler Center for
Arkansas Studies from 2005-19 and director of strategic partnerships for the Central Arkansas Library System from 2019-21.
Learn more about the Butler Center at https://cals.org/butler-center-for-arkansas-studies.
Learn more about the ATU Department of History and Political Science at www.atu.edu/history.