Black – Indian History


Throughout American history, the longest and most consistent contact between American Indians and peoples of African descent occurred among those tribes that the federal government designated as the Five Civilized Tribes–the Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks, and Seminoles.

The relations between and among these peoples have generated scholarly interest since the early decades of this century, as the first generation of scholars represented by Laurence Foster was succeeded by the next by Kenneth Wiggins Porter, and that generation by the next, represented by J. Leitch Wright, Jr., Daniel F. Littlefield, Jr., and Theda Perdue.

Today finds not only a newer generation of scholars concerned with the history and the literature of African-Indian contact but also a growing number of individuals interested in Black-Indian family histories.

The bibliography located at the website link below is representative–and by no means comprehensive–list of Black-Indian resources for the so-called Five Civilized Tribes.

The three archival repositories represented are those holding the vast majority of records relating to those tribes: the Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; the National Archives-Southwest Region, Fort Worth, Texas; and the National Archives, Washington, D. C. Because of aggressive microfilming by all three, many of the resources cited are available in microform.

Researchers should contact those institutions regarding inventories of their holdings and up-to-date lists of materials available in microform.The American Native Press Archives holds many of the resources cited below in either hard copy or microform.

In addition, the Daniel F. Littlefield, Jr., research collection of materials related to people of African descent among the Five Civilized Tribes is available for use at the Archives. It is one of the nation’s largest collections of material concerning this aspect of these tribes’ history.

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