Necrophiliac settler colonialism: Chaney Hill, ‘Necro-Settler Coloniality in Texan Mythology and Identity: Forgetting the Alamo’, Western American Literature, 57, 3, 2022, pp. 255-283


Excerpt: Like many Americans I spent much of 2020 in quarantine reading about, watching, and in some cases participating in Black Lives Matter protests. On May 30 of that year, I monitored social media from my Houston apartment as protesters gathered in San Antonio—a city I consider home— to march against police brutality. The protesters marched from Travis Park to the San Antonio Police Department, passing by the Alamo Plaza, the Alamo, and the Alamo Cenotaph on their way. These protesters were met by an armed group of men intent on (re)defending the Alamo Cenotaph, which is settled in a prominent location near the Alamo. The defense of the Alamo was being reenacted by a group of right-wing militiamen set on protecting the Alamo Cenotaph from Black Lives Matter protesters at the Alamo Plaza. I was, at first, confused. What did the Alamo have to do with the Black Lives Matter protesters? Initially the connection between the Alamo Plaza, which has been criticized for its perpetuation of anti-Mexican sentiments and ideologies, and Black life seems tenuous. However, on further inspection the connection between the Alamo, the Alamo Cenotaph, and the mistreatment of and violence against Black and Brown people becomes painfully apparent. Following the 2017 announcement by the Texas General Land Office (GLO) regarding their plans to relocate the Alamo Cenotaph, the debate about whether the Alamo should maintain its mythologic designation as the “cradle of Texas liberty” and white herohood, or engage its sordid past, which perpetuated white supremacist and settler colonial ideologies, has gained renewed attention.

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