Black People : Yo, Blackbird And Company-!

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by chuck, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. chuck

    chuck Well-Known Member MEMBER

    United States
    Aug 9, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Please do come back to kick it on the BLACK INDIANS and SEVENTH GENERATION threads...


  2. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

    Feb 28, 2009
    Likes Received:

    What does "Wado" mean?
  3. chuck

    chuck Well-Known Member MEMBER

    United States
    Aug 9, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Good morning, sis...

    And 'wado' is the Cherokee way of saying 'thank you'...

    But I'd be more motivated to say that if you would just explain to me why you're asking me to answer your questions about the Cherokee language in the first place?

    I only know of a few words myself...

    You need to ask or write to true speakers...

  4. chuck

    chuck Well-Known Member MEMBER

    United States
    Aug 9, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Let Us Start Fresh (If Not Over)!

    Do continue to ask your questions...

    If I don't have the answer, I'll try to suggest others who might be able to...

  5. chuck

    chuck Well-Known Member MEMBER

    United States
    Aug 9, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Good afternoon, posters...

    And, yes indeed, I easily understand your concern as well as worry about current events, etc., too...

    But, in my humble (or not so humble) opinion, we need and I want us to remember just one undeniable aspect of our peoples past generations very surviva:

    I. e., how they embraced (not rejected) OUR DIVERSITY, which did or does truly make us a unique people, in this nation/on this continent/all around the globe!

    After having said and written that:

    Another FYI...


    Black Indians in the United States

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Notable Black Indians:

    Billy Bowlegs III

    Edmonia Lewis

    Total population

    Unknown. (182,494 identified as ethnically African/Native American on 2000

    Regions with significant populations

    United States (especially the Southern United States or in locations populated by Southern descendants).


    American English

    Related ethnic groups

    African Americans · Native Americans in the United States · Freedmen · Other Native peoples of the Americas · Zambos · Cafuzos

    Black Indians is a term that refers to people of African-American descent, usually with significant Native American ancestry, who also have strong ties to Native American culture, and social and historical traditions. This article addresses Black Indians in the United States.

    Certain Native American tribes had close relations with African Americans, especially those in the Southeast, where slavery was prevalent. Members of the Five Civilized Tribes held enslaved blacks, who migrated with them to the West during Indian Removal in 1830 and later. In peace treaties with the US after the American Civil War, the tribes, which had sided with the Confederacy, were required to emancipate slaves and give them full citizenship rights in their nations. The Black Indians were known as tribal Freedmen, such as Cherokee Freedmen. In addition, some black maroon communities had been allied with the Seminole in Florida and intermarried. The Black Seminole included those with and without Indian ancestry. The Cherokee and Seminole have created controversy in recent decades as they tightened rules for membership in their nations and excluded Freedmen who did not have at least one Indian ancestor on the early 20th century Dawes Rolls. Lawsuits are pending.

    * 1 Overview
    * 2 History
    o 2.1 Colonial America
    o 2.2 1800s through Civil War
    o 2.3 Native American slave ownership
    o 2.4 Cherokee Freedmen
    * 3 Genealogy
    * 4 Notable Black Indians
    o 4.1 Historic
    o 4.2 Contemporary
    * 5 See also
    * 6 References
    * 7 External links
    * 8 Further reading


    Until recently, historic relations between Native Americans and African Americans were relatively neglected in United States history studies.[2] At various times, Africans had more or less contact with Native Americans, although they did not live together in as great number as with Europeans. African slaves brought to the United States and their descendants have had a history of cultural exchange and intermarriage with Native Americans and other slaves who possessed Native American and European ancestry. Most interaction took place in the Southern United States, where slaves were held in greatest number.[3] Numerous African Americans thus have some Native American ancestry, although not all have current social, cultural or linguistic ties to Native peoples.[4] Black Indians refers to African Americans who grew up or were closely associated with Native American culture. It does not mean all those who happen to have some Native American ancestry.

    Relationships among Native American groups and Africans and African Americans have been varied and complex. Some groups were more accepting of Africans than others and welcomed them as full members of their respective cultures and communities. Native peoples often disagreed about the role of ethnic African people in their communities. Other Native Americans saw uses for slavery and did not oppose it for others.

    After the American Civil War, as members of the US Army, some African Americans fought against Native Americans, especially in the Western frontier states. Their military units became known as the Buffalo Soldiers. Black Seminoles particularly were recruited and worked as Indian scouts for the Army. On the other hand, many Native Americans and African-descended people fought alongside one another in armed struggles of resistance against U.S. expansion into Native territories, as in the Seminole Wars in Florida, as well as resistance against slavery and racism.
    [edit] History
    [edit] Colonial America
    Members of the Creek (Muscogee) Nation in Oklahoma around 1877. Note the evidence of mixed European and African ancestry. L to R, Lochar Harjo, unidentified man, John McGilvry, Silas Jefferson or Hotulko miko (Chief of the Whirlwind).[5]

    The earliest record of African and Native American contact occurred in April 1502, when the first African slaves arrived in Hispaniola. Some escaped inland on Santo Dominico; those who survived and joined with the natives became the first circle of Black Indians.[6][7] In addition, the first example of African slaves' escaping from European colonists and being absorbed by Native Americans was recorded in 1526. In June of that year, Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon established a Spanish colony near the mouth of the Pee Dee River in what is now eastern South Carolina. The Spanish settlement was named San Miquel de Guadalupe. Amongst the settlement were 100 enslaved Africans. In 1526, the first African slaves fled the colony and took refuge with local Native Americans[7]

    Intermarriage between African slaves and Native Americans began occurring in the early 1600s.[8] In 1622 Native Americans overran the European colony of Jamestown. They killed the Europeans but brought the African slaves as captives back to their communities, gradually integrating them.[9] It is a common misconception that people of African and Native American descent are descendants of only the five civilized tribes.[8][dead link] Interracial relationships occurred between African Americans and members of other tribes in the coastal states.[8] Several colonial advertisements for runaway slaves made direct reference to the connections African Americans had in Native American communities. For example, ...ran off with his Indian wife..., had kin among the Indians..., part Indian and speaks their language good.[10] Massachusetts Vital Records prior to 1850 included notes of "Marriages of 'negroes' to Indians".

    In South Carolina, colonists were so concerned about the possible threat posed by the mixed African and Native American population that was arising due to runaways, that they passed a new law in 1725. This law stipulated a fine of 200 pounds for persons bringing a slave to the frontier regions. In 1751 South Carolina passed a law against holding Africans in proximity to Native Americans, which was deemed detrimental to the security of the colony.

    In 1726 the British governor of colonial New York exacted a promise from the Iroquois Confederacy to return all runaway slaves. He required the same from the Huron tribe in 1764 and the Delaware tribe in 1765.[9] Despite their agreements, the tribes never returned any escaped slaves.[9] They continued to provide a safe refuge for escaped slaves. In 1763 during Chief Pontiac's uprising, a Detroit resident reported that Native Americans killed whites but were "saving and caressing all the Negroes they take." He worried lest this might "produce an insurrection." Chief Joseph Brant's Mohawks in New York welcomed runaway slaves and encouraged intermarriage.[9] The Native American adoption systems knew no color line and accepted the fugitives as sisters and brothers.[9] Woodson's notion of an escape hatch proved correct: Native American villages welcomed fugitives and some served as stations on the Underground Railroad.[9]

    During the transitional period of Africans' becoming the primary race enslaved, Native Americans were also sometimes enslaved at the same time. Together Africans and Native Americans worked together, lived together in communal quarters, produced collective recipes for food, and shared herbal remedies, myths and legends. Some intermarried and had mixed-race children.[11] Ads asked for the return of both African American and Native American slaves. Some Native Americans resented the presence of African Americans.[12] In one description, the "Catawaba tribe in 1752 showed great anger and bitter resentment when an African American came among them as a trader."[12]

    The Cherokee had the strongest color prejudice of all Native Americans.[13] The hostility has been attributed to European fears of a unified revolt of Native Americans and African Americans: "Whites sought to convince Native Americans that African Americans worked against their best interests." [14] Europeans considered both races inferior and made efforts to make Native Americans and Africans enemies.[15] Native Americans were rewarded if they returned escaped slaves, and African Americans were rewarded for fighting in "Indian Wars".[15][16][17] European colonists even lied about the source of smallpox during the Cherokee smallpox epidemic of 1739 blaming African slaves as the source in order to try to create tension between Africans and Native Americans.[18]

    Yet, many tribes encouraged marriage between the two groups, to create stronger, healthier children from the unions.[19] In the eighteenth century, many Native American women did marry freed or runaway African men due to a major decline in the male population in Native American villages.[15] In addition, records show that Native American women bought African men as slaves. Unknown to European sellers, the women freed and married the men into their tribe.[15] Some African men chose Native American women as their partners because their children would be free, as the child's status followed that of the mother.[15] As European expansion increased, African and Native American marriages became more numerous.[15]
    [edit] 1800s through Civil War

    In the early 1800s, the US government assumed some tribes had become extinct, especially on the East Coast.[20] It did not have a separate census designation for Native Americans. Those remaining among the European-American communities were frequently listed as mulatto, a term applied to Native American-white, Native American-African, and African-white mixed-race people, as well as tri-racial people.[20]

    The Seminole people of Florida were unusual for forming in the eighteenth century, mostly from Creek and other Native Americans who migrated from Georgia. They incorporated some Africans who had escaped from slavery. Other maroons formed separate communities near the Seminole, and were allied with them in military actions. Some intermarriage took place. All African Americans living near the Seminole were called Black Seminoles. Several hundred of African descent traveled with the Seminole when they were removed to Indian Territory. Others stayed with a few hundred Seminole in Florida.

    By contrast, an 1835 census of the Cherokee showed that 10% were of African descent.[10] Western frontier artist George Catlin described "Negro and North American Indian, mixed, of equal blood" and stated:

    "the finest built and most powerful men I have ever yet seen."[9]

    By 1860 in some areas of the South, Native Americans were believed to have intermarried with African Americans to such an extent, that white legislators thought they no longer qualified as "Indian" and wanted to revoke their tax exemptions.[9]

    Freed African Americans, Black Indians and some Native Americans fought in the American Civil War against the Confederate Army. During November 1861, the Creek and Black Indians, led by Creek Chief Opothleyahola, fought three pitched battles against Confederate whites and allied Native Americans to reach Union lines in Kansas and offer their services.[9] Some people who were Black Indians served in colored regiments with other African-American soldiers.[21]

    Black Indians were documented in the following regiments: The 1st Kansas Colored Infantry, The Kansas Colored at Honey Springs, The 79th US Colored Infantry, and The 83rd US Colored Infantry, along with other colored regiments that included men listed as Negro.[21] Civil War battles occurred in Indian Territory.[22] The first in Indian Territory took place July 1-2 1863, and involved the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry.[22] The first battle against the Confederacy outside Indian Territory occurred at Horse Head Creek, Arkansas on February 17, 1864. The 79th U.S. Colored Infantry participated.[22] Many Black Indians returned to Indian Territory once the Civil War had been won by the Union.[21] When the Confederacy and its Native American allies were defeated, the US required new peace treaties by the Five Civilized Tribes, including provisions to emancipate slaves and make them full citizens of their nations. The former slaves were called tribal freedmen, as in Cherokee Freedmen and Seminole Freedmen, and adopted into the tribes. The Cherokee had freed their slaves in 1863, before the end of the war.[9]

    Native American slave ownership

    Slavery existed among Native Americans before it was introduced by the Europeans, although it was unlike chattel slavery. In oral tradition, for instance, Cherokees recounted people being enslaved as the result of failure in warfare, and as a temporary status pending adoption or release.[23] As the United States Constitution and the laws of several states permitted slavery, Native Americans were legally allowed to own slaves, including those brought from Africa by Europeans. The Cherokee tribe had the most members who held black slaves, more than any other Native American nation.[24]

    In colonial North America, the first exposure that Africans and Native Americans had to each other came from Africans being imported as laborers, both indentured servants and as slaves.[8] Records from the slavery period show several cases of brutal Native American treatment of black slaves. However, most Native American masters rejected the worst features of Southern practices.[9] Travelers reported enslaved Africans "in as good circumstances as their masters." A white Indian Agent, Douglas Cooper, upset by the Native American failure to practice more severe rules, insisted that Native Americans invite white men to live in their villages and "control matters."[9] Though less than 3% of Native Americans owned slaves, racial bondage and pressure from European-American culture created destructive cleavages in their villages. Many had a class hierarchy based on "white blood."[9] Native Americans of mixed white blood stood at the top, "pure" Native Americans next, and people of African descent were at the bottom.[9] As among mixed-race African Americans, some of the status of white descent may also have been related to the economic and social capital passed on by white relations.

    Numerous African-descended people were held as slaves by members of Native groups up until the Civil War. Some later recounted their lives for a WPA oral history project during the Great Depression in the 1930s.[25]

    Cherokee Freedmen
    Main article: Cherokee Freedmen Controversy

    After the Civil War in 1866, Cherokees were required to grant their slaves citizenship and membership in the tribe, as the United States freed slaves and granted them citizenship by amendments to the US Constitution. Similarly, they were required to reinstate membership for the Delaware, who had earlier been given land on their reservation, but fought for the Union during the war.[26] Many Cherokee Freedmen, as they were called, played active political roles in the Cherokee nation over the ensuing decades.

    In the late 20th century, the tribe moved to take descendants of Freedmen and Delaware off the tribal rolls, except for those who had a Cherokee ancestor on the Dawes Roll. A political struggle over this issue has ensued and the matter went to the tribe's Supreme Court. The Cherokee later reinstated the rights of Delaware to be considered members of the Cherokee, but opposed their bid for federal recognition.[26]

    By the tribal Supreme Court ruling of March 2006, the Cherokee Nation was required to reinstate as members about 1,000 African Americans (and descendants) whom they had dropped from the rolls in the mid-1970s. In response, leaders of the Cherokee Nation organized a referendum to vote on qualifications for citizenship in the tribe. The referendum established direct Cherokee ancestry as a requirement, unlike previous qualifications. Only such members were allowed to vote in the referendum. The measure passed in March 2007, thereby forcing out Cherokee Freedmen and their descendants unless they also had direct Cherokee ancestry. This has caused much controversy.[27]. The tribe has determined to limit membership only to those who can demonstrate Native American descent based on listing on the Dawes Rolls.[28]

    Similarly, the Seminole nation of Oklahoma moved to exclude Black Seminoles from membership. In 1990 it received $56 million from the US government as reparations for lands taken in Florida. Because the judgment trust was based on tribal membership as of 1823, it excluded Seminole Freedmen, as well as Black Seminoles who held land next to Seminole communities. In 2000 the Seminole chief moved to formally exclude Black Seminoles unless they could prove descent from a Native American ancestor on the Dawes Rolls. Two thousand Black Seminoles were excluded from the nation.[29] Descendants of freedmen and Black Seminoles are working to secure their rights. An advocacy group representing Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes claims that members are entitled to be citizens in both the Seminole and Cherokee nations, as many are indeed part Native American by blood, with records to prove it. Their ancestors were classified incorrectly, under only the category of freedmen, at the time of the Dawes Rolls. In addition, the post-Civil War treaties of these tribes with the US government required they give African Americans full citizenship upon emancipation, regardless of blood quantum. Cherokee or Seminole descent among the Freedmen has been difficult to trace from historical records.[30] Twenty-five thousand descendants of freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes may be affected by the legal controversies.[29]

    The Dawes Commission enrollment records, intended to establish rolls of tribal members for land allocation purposes, were done under rushed conditions by a variety of recorders. Many tended to exclude Freedmen from Cherokee rolls and enter them separately, even when they claimed Cherokee descent, had records of it, and had Cherokee physical features. Descendants of Freedmen see the tribe's contemporary reliance on the Dawes Rolls as a racially based way to exclude them.[31][32]

    Before the Dawes Commission was established, "(t)he majority of the people with African blood living in the Cherokee nation prior to the Civil war lived there as slaves of Cherokee citizens or as free black non-citizens, usually the descendants of Cherokee men and women with African blood...In 1863, the Cherokee government outlawed slavery through acts of the tribal council. In 1866, a treaty was signed with the US government in which the Cherokee government agreed to give citizenship to those people with African blood living in the Cherokee nations who were not already citizens. African Cherokee people participated as full citizens of that nation, holding office, voting, running businesses, etc."[33]

    After the Dawes Commission established tribal rolls, in some cases freedmen of the Cherokee and the other Five Civilized Tribes were treated more harshly. Degrees of continued acceptance into tribal structures were low during the ensuing decades. Some tribes restricted membership to those with a documented Native ancestor on the Dawes Commission listings, and many restricted officeholders to those of direct Native American ancestry. In the later 20th century, it was difficult for Black Indians to establish official ties with Native groups to which they genetically belonged. Many of the freedmen descendants believe that their exclusion from tribal membership, and the resistance to their efforts to gain recognition, are racially motivated and based on the tribe's wanting to preserve the new gambling revenues for fewer people.[26][34]


    For more details on this topic, see Blood Quantum Laws.

    Tracing the genealogy of African Americans and Native Americans is a difficult process. Enslaved Africans were renamed by slaveholders and surnames were infrequently used until after the war. Historical records, such as censuses, did not record the names of enslaved blacks before the American Civil War. Some major slaveholders kept extensive records which historians and genealogists have used to create family trees, but generally researchers find it difficult to trace families before the Civil War. Slaves were forbidden to learn to read and write. A majority of Native Americans did not speak English, let alone read or write it.[2]

    In some cases elder family members may withhold information about Native American heritage.[2] However, knowing the family's geographic origins is a key factor in helping individuals unravel Native American ancestry.[2] Many modern African Americans have taken an interest in genealogy and are learning about Native American heritage within their individual families. Some African Americans may work from oral history of the family and try to confirm stories of Native ancestry through genealogical research and DNA testing. Because of such findings, some have petitioned to be registered as members of Native American tribes. Each tribe controls the rules for membership. Most do not accept DNA tests as proof, especially since these cannot distinguish among the tribes.

    "There's never been any stigma about intermarriage," says Stu Phillips, editor of The Seminole Producer, a local newspaper in central Oklahoma. "You've got Indians marrying whites, Indians marrying blacks. It was never a problem until they got some money."


    DNA testing and research has provided more facts about the extent of Native American ancestry among African Americans, which varies in the general population. As Harvard University historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr. wrote in 2009,

    "Here are the facts: Only 5 percent of all black Americans have at least 12.5 percent Native American ancestry, the equivalent of at least one great-grandparent. Those 'high cheek bones' and 'straight black hair' your relatives brag about at every family reunion and holiday meal since you were 2 years old? Where did they come from? To paraphrase a well-known French saying, “Seek the white man.”

    African Americans, just like our first lady, are a racially mixed or mulatto people—deeply and overwhelmingly so. Fact: Fully 58 percent of African-American people, according to geneticist Mark Shriver at Morehouse College, possess at least 12.5 percent European ancestry (again, the equivalent of that one great-grandparent).

    [35] In contradiction to Gates statement The Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism (IPCB) notes that:

    "Native American markers" are not found solely among Native Americans. While they occur more frequently among Native Americans they are also found in people in other parts of the world.[36]

    Geneticists also state:

    not all Native Americans have been tested especially with the large number of deaths due to disease such as small pox, it is unlikely that Native Americans only have the genetic markers they have identified, even when their maternal or paternal bloodline does not include a non-Native American.[37][38]

    In addition, standard DNA testing cannot answer all of an individual's questions about heritage. The two common types of tests used are Y-chromosome and mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) testing. The tests processes for direct-line male and female ancestors. Each follows only one line among many ancestors and thus can fail to identify others. Some critics thought the PBS series did not sufficiently explain the limitations of DNA testing for assessment of heritage.[37][38][39] In addition, while full testing may tell an individual if he or she has some Native American ancestry, it cannot distinguish among separate Native American tribes.[40] African Americans are using DNA testing to find out more about all their ancestry. Native American identity has historically been based on culture, not just biology.
    [edit] Notable Black Indians
    Further information: List of People of African American and Native American admixture
    [edit] Historic

    * Edmonia Lewis (1845-1911), Ojibwe, African American and Haitian[41]
    * Abraham, also called Suwanee Warrior (Sauanaffe Tustunaggee), known as "Prime Minister of the Seminoles", leader during the Seminole Wars
    * John Horse (Juan Caballo) (1812-1882), Black Seminole war leader in Florida, also leader of Black Seminole in Mexico


    * Mance Lipscomb, blues musician of Choctaw and African-American ancestry
    * Martha Redbone, Native American Music Award-winning Soul music of Shawnee, Choctaw and African-American ancestry [42]
    * Radmilla Cody -46th Miss Navajo Nation (1998), traditional Navajo singer of Navajo and African-American ancestry, and advocate against domestic violence in both the Navajo Nation and the state of Arizona.[1]

    See also

    * List of topics related to the Black Diaspora
    * Shinnecock
    * Pequot
    * African American
    * Black people
    * Black Seminoles
    * Carmel Indians
    * Cherokee freedmen controversy
    * Chestnut Ridge people
    * Colored
    * Freedman
    * Haliwa-Saponi
    * Louisiana Creole people
    * Lumbee
    * Maroon (people)
    * Melungeon
    * Mulatto
    * Native Americans in the United States
    * Native American name controversy
    * Indian tribe
    * One-drop rule
    * Plaçage
    * Puerto Rican people
    * Redbone (ethnicity)
    * Social interpretations of race
    * We-Sorts


    1. ^ "DP-1. Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000 Data Set: Census 2000 Summary File 2 (SF 2) 100-Percent Data Geographic Area: United States Racial or Ethnic Grouping: Black or African American; American Indian and Alaska Native". Census 2000 Quicktables. US Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
    2. ^ a b c d Mary A. Dempsey (1996). "The Indian connection". American Visions. Retrieved 2008-09-19. | CBSi

    3. ^ Angela Y. Walton-Raji (2008). "Researching Black Indian Genealogy of the Five Civilized Tribes". Oklahoma's Black Indians. Retrieved 2008-09-20.
    The African

    4. ^ G. Reginald Daniel (2008). "More Than Black?:Multiracial". Temple University Press.,M1. Retrieved 2008-09-19.

    More Than Black

    In the United States, anyone with even a trace of African American ancestry has been considered black. Even as the twenty-first century opens, a racial hierarchy still prevents people of color, including individuals of mixed race, from enjoying...

    5. ^ Hudson, Charles. The Southeastern Indians, 1976, pg. 479
    6. ^ William Loren Katz (2008). "Black Indians". Retrieved 2008-08-11.
    7. ^ a b Muslims in American History : A Forgotten Legacy by Dr. Jerald F. Dirks. ISBN 1-59008-044-0 Page 204.
    8. ^ a b c d Angela Y. Walton-Raji (2008). "Tri-Racials: Black Indians of the Upper South". Design © 1997. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
    9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n William Loren Katz (2008). "Africans and Indians: Only in America". William Loren Katz. Retrieved 2008-09-20.
    10. ^ a b William Loren Katz, Black Indians: a Hidden Heritage, New York: Aladdin Paperbacks, 1997, p. 103
    11. ^ National Park Service (2009). "Park Ethnography: Work, Marriage, Christianity". National Park Service.

    NPS Ethnography Home Page

    The Applied Ethnography Program of the National Park Service works to formulate policy, conduct research, consult with stakeholder groups, and manage cultural registries.

    12. ^ a b Red, White, and Black, pg. 99. ISBN 0820303089
    13. ^ Red, White, and Black, pg. 99, ISBN 0820303089
    14. ^ Red, White, and Black, pg. 105, ISBN 0820303089
    15. ^ a b c d e f Dorothy A. Mays (2008). "Women in early America". ABC-CLIO.,M1. Retrieved 2008-05-29.

    Women in Early America

    Women in Early America: Struggle, Survival, and Freedom in a New World provides insight into an era in American history when women had immense responsibilities and unusual freedoms. These women worked in a range of occupations such as...

    16. ^ Art T. Burton (1996). "CHEROKEE SLAVE REVOLT OF 1842". LWF COMMUNICATIONS. Retrieved 2009-05-29.

    17. ^ Fay A. Yarbrough (2007). "Race and the Cherokee Nation". Univ of Pennsylvania Press. Retrieved 2009-05-30.

    Race and the Cherokee Nation

    "We believe by blood only," said a Cherokee resident of Oklahoma, speaking to reporters in 2007 after voting in favor of the Cherokee Nation constitutional amendment limiting its membership. In an election that made headlines around the world, a...

    18. ^ Tiya Miles (2008). "Ties that bind: the story of an Afro-Cherokee family in slavery and freedom". University of California Press. cherokee smallpox&f=false. Retrieved 2009-10-27.
    19. ^ Nomad Winterhawk (1997). "Black Indians want a place in history". Djembe Magazine. Retrieved 2009-05-29.
    20. ^ a b Angela Y. Walton-Raji (1999). "Tri-Racials: Black Indians of the Upper South". GenealogyToday. Retrieved 2009-10-27.
    21. ^ a b c Angela Y. Walton-Raji (2008). "Oklahoma Freedmen in the Civil War". Oklahoma's Black Indians. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
    22. ^ a b c Angela Y. Walton-Raji (2008). "Battles Fought in Indian Territory and Battles Fought by I.T. Freedmen outside of Indian Territory". Oklahoma's Black Indians. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
    23. ^ Russell, Steve (2002). "Apples are the Color of Blood", Critical Sociology Vol. 28, 1, 2002, p.70
    24. ^ Littlefield, Daniel F. Jr. The Cherokee Freedmen: From Emancipation to American Citizenship, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1978 p68
    25. ^ Lucinda Davis
    26. ^ a b c "Delaware Tribe of Indians Supports Cherokee Freedmen Treaty Rights", Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes, 2004, accessed 6 Oct 2009
    27. ^ BBC NEWS | Americas | Cherokees eject slave descendants
    28. ^ Tulsa World: News
    29. ^ a b c Brendan I. Koerner, "Blood Feud", Wired 13.09, accessed 3 Jun 2008
    30. ^ "History", Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes, 2 Aug 2005, accessed 6 Oct 2009
    31. ^ "Myths", Descendants of Freedmen of the 5 Civilized Tribes, 2 Aug 2005, accessed 6 Oct 2009
    32. ^ "History", Descendants of Freedmen of the 5 Civilized Tribes, 2 Aug 2005, accessed 6 Oct 2009
    33. ^ Marilyn Vann, "Why: Cherokee Freedmen Story", Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes, 2 Aug 2005, accessed 6 Oct 2009
    34. ^ William Loren Katz, "Racism and the Cherokee Nation", Final, 8 Apr 2007
    35. ^ Henry Louis Gates, Jr., "Michelle's Great-Great-Great-Granddaddy - and Yours", The, 8 Oct 2009, accessed 8 Oct 2009
    36. ^ Kim TallBear, Phd., Associate, Red Nation Consulting (2008). "Can DNA Determine Who is American Indian?". The WEYANOKE Association. Retrieved 2009-05-11.
    37. ^ a b ScienceDaily (2008). "Genetic Ancestral Testing Cannot Deliver On Its Promise, Study Warns". ScienceDaily. Retrieved 2008-10-02.
    38. ^ a b Troy Duster (2008). "Deep Roots and Tangled Branches". Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 2008-10-02.
    39. ^ Troy Duster (2008). "Deep Roots and Tangled Branches". Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 2008-10-02.
    40. ^ Brett Lee Shelton, J.D. and Jonathan Marks, Ph.D. (2008). "Genetic Markers Not a Valid Test of Native Identity". Counsel for Responsible Genetics. Retrieved 2008-10-02.
    41. ^ Edmonia Lewis, Edmonia Lewis. Accessed 2008-01-05.
    42. ^ Martha Redbone Interview

    [edit] External links
    Search Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons has media related to: African American Native Americans

    * Henry Louis Gates, Jr., "Michelle's Great-Great-Great-Granddaddy - and Yours", The, 8 Oct 2009
    * Aframerindian Slave Narratives, Patrick Minges
    * Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Tribes
    * "Black Indians In American West History", African Americans
    * The African-Native American
    * Dr. Arthur N. Lewin, "Black Indians", review of William Loren Katz, The Black Indians, Black Web Portal, 2001

    [edit] Further reading

    * Amir Nashid Ali Muhammad; Muslims in America - Seven Centuries of History ISBN 0-915957-75-2
    * Bonnett, A. "Shades of difference: African Native Americans", History Today, December 2008, 58, 12, Pages 40–42
    * Sylviane A. Diouf (1998); Servants of Allah - African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas ISBN 0-8147-1905-8
    * Allan D. Austin (1997); African Muslims in Antebellum America ISBN 0-415-91270-9
    * --
    * Tiya Miles (2006); Ties that Bind : the Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom ISBN 0520241320
    * J. Leitch Wright (1999); The Only Land They Knew : American Indians in the Old South ISBN 0803298056
    * Patrick Minges (2004); Black Indian Slave Narratives ISBN 0895872986
    * Jack D. Forbes (1993); Africans and Native Americans: The Language of Race and the Evolution of Red-Black Peoples ISBN 025206321X
    * James F. Brooks (2002); Confounding the Color Line: The Indian - Black Experience in North America ISBN 0803261942
    * Claudio Saunt (2005); Black, White, and Indian: Race and the Unmaking of an American Family ISBN 0195313100
    * Valena Broussard Dismukes (2007); The Red-Black Connection: Contemporary Urban African-Native Americans and their Stories of Dual Identity ISBN 9780979715303

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  6. chuck

    chuck Well-Known Member MEMBER

    United States
    Aug 9, 2003
    Likes Received:
    One In Support Of The Black Indian Freedmen Descendants:

    October 8, 2009 - Issue 345

    Skip the Apologies and Pass the Justice:

    End Jim Crow in Indian Country

    By Kevin James

    Guest Commentator

    On June 18 the U.S. Senate passed Resolution 26, which apologized “for the enslavement and racial segregation of African-Americans” but precluded reparations. Rather than pass a disclaimer disguised as an apology for slavery, the U.S. Senate should instead end Congress’ disparate treatment of Native American Freedmen: Jim Crow and the ‘one-drop’ rule are still alive and well in Indian Country.

    President Obama’s hands-off attitude only added to more than 100 years of discrimination against Freedmen. During his presidential campaign, he opposed the Black Congressional Caucus’ attempt to withhold funding from the Cherokee Nation after they disenfranchised Cherokee Freedmen. He believed the courts were the better forum for deciding the rights of Cherokee Freedmen, not Congress. More recently, several Caucus members called on Attorney General Holder to investigate the Five Civilized Tribes’ racial discrimination against Freedmen. Both sides are missing the point, that in 1896 Congress documented Indian ancestry on the Dawes Rolls in a racially discriminatory manner. The issue is neither one of blood quantum nor sovereignty, but Congress’ duty to remedy the lasting harms they caused by violating Equal Protection.

    The Dawes Rolls created a racial hierarchy between Native American Freedmen and “by-bloods” by placing Freedmen at the bottom of the totem pole. Used for identifying land allotment eligibility under the Dawes Allotment Act, the Rolls were established consistent with the prevalent “one-drop” rule of the era. Just prior to Final Roll documentation, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the ‘one drop’ rule in 1896. Homer Plessy, who from all appearances was white, was arrested for sitting in the segregated “whites only” train section in Louisiana after identifying himself as having African ancestry. Initiated as a test case, the Court ruled he had to sit in the car designated for blacks, even though he only had 1/8th African ancestry.

    The Rolls discriminated against Native Americans with African ancestry by merely identifying them as Freedmen, without bothering to identify their Indian ancestry. Native Americans with Caucasian ancestry were identified by blood quantum to 1/32nd degree of “Indian by Blood.” This ‘paper-bag’ test for Native American identity reinforced the stigmatic badge of slavery against persons with African Ancestry. Freedmen challenged their segregation from ‘Indians by Blood,’ but in 1906 Congress barred the transfer of Freedmen to the ‘by-Blood’ rolls. Thus began a century of Freedmen litigation seeking equality with ‘Indians-by-Blood,’ who were unjustifiably granted the advantage of using the Dawes Rolls for documenting lineage.

    Oklahoma codified the ‘one-drop’ rule into its constitution in 1907 when it was consolidated with Indian Territory and admitted as a state. The constitution applied “colored” or “negro” to “all persons of African descent.” By contrast, being Indian was equated to being “White” by defining the term “white race” to include “all other persons.” Public schools, hospitals, and even pay-phones were legally segregated until the constitution was amended in 1978.

    Congress inflamed racial tensions by apportioning government benefits based on blood quantum rather than from treaties and historical context. In 1990 they excluded Seminole Freedmen from sharing in monies divided between Florida and Oklahoma Seminoles in the Seminole Indians Judgment Funds Act. The Act fractured relations between Oklahoman Seminole Freedmen and Seminole-by-Bloods, which ended with the BIA siding with tribal leaders in denying Freedmen their share of the award.

    This treatment of Seminole Freedmen underscores the arbitrary racial character of the Dawes Rolls. Seminoles coalesced in Florida largely from escaped slaves and indigenous peoples disenchanted with Southern plantation system of slavery. Former slaves freely intermarried within Seminole society, shared African methods of crop cultivation, and fought shoulder to shoulder with their indigenous brethren under the most miserable conditions against American troops seeking their land. Congress recognized the integral role black slaves played in Seminole society by not mandating separate rolls for Seminole Freedmen as they had for the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Creek. Yet the Seminole were nonetheless segregated consistent within the era’s racial norms.

    Ultimately, the issue is neither sovereignty nor blood, but a core conceptual premise of the Fourteenth Amendment. When the government creates a discriminatory harm because of race, be it Native American, or African American, or by creating a racial hierarchy between the two, they have a duty to repair the lasting effects of that harm. The harm becomes more insidious when inflicted on the two ‘involuntary’ minorities responsible for the birth and wealth of this nation.

    Congress needs to skip the apologies and pass the justice. Rather than issue hollow palliatives, Congress can best facilitate the healing process between Freedmen and “by-Bloods” by reforming the law consistent with Equal Protection. First, the invidious racial discrimination of the Dawes Rolls must be repealed by granting Native American Freedmen full access to the same government benefits afforded to Native Americans ‘by-blood’.

    Second, Congress must remove the economics underlying the racial bias against Freedmen. Rather than burden tribes with unfunded mandates, Congress must proportionally increase tribal grants to reflect full Freedmen citizenship. Only then can traditional tribal values be rescued from a blood fetishism fueled by perverse incentives pitting one disadvantaged group against another.

    There is a certain irony in the fact that our founding fathers were inspired by the color-blind, egalitarian values of indigenous Americans, yet Congress later legislated racial strife into the tribes in a way that persists to this day. The Dawes Rolls are but another vestige of slavery whose unlawful racial effects can be readily remedied by appropriate legislation. Congress can heal this rift by creating an incubator, rather than an incinerator, in which the human needs and aspirations of all Dawes Rolls descendants can be mutually recognized and empowered. Guest Commentator, Kevin James, is an attorney and former FDNY fire fighter and arson investigator. He lobbied for passage of New York State’s historic fire-safe cigarette act, and was a Revson Fellow at Columbia University from 2002-2003. In 2005 he assisted the Center for Constitutional Rights with the Vulcan Society lawsuit against the New York City Fire Department as an Ella Baker law intern.
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