From a common foe, Africans and Native Americans found the first link of friendship and earliest motivation for an alliance. They discovered they shared some vital life views. Both Africans and Native Americans found they shared a belief in cooperation, rather than competition and rivalry. Beyond individual human differences in personality, generally speaking, each race was proud, but neither was weighed down by prejudice. Skill, friendship and trust, not skin color or race was important.
That Native Americans and Africans merged by choice, invitation, and bonds of trust and friendship, cannot be understated. It explains why families who share this biracial inheritance have never forgotten these family ties.
Since 1502, Black Indians have been reported, documented, painted, and photographed coast to coast from Hudson's Bay to Tierra del Fuego. In the decades between the 1619 Jamestown settlement and the 'Great Treaty Signings' of the 1880's, Black Indian Societies were reported in more than 15 states from New York to South Carolina as well as the thirty Caribbean Islands 'blessed' by European colonization.
Excerpt from article by: By Nomad WinterhawkFor more information see: http://www.africanamericans.com/BlackIndians.htm
These memories and fears still fresh, she hid the secret that only today is revealed. This was a secret that has survived for almost two centuries by only being passed down and revealed upon the imminent death of the holder of the hidden memory. What kind of fear could hold a secret across countless generations? What atrocities were witnessed that brought shame for surviving, and hope for the resurrection of past glory.
Grandma’s fear of Indian ancestry exposure was much different than those today that claim descent from an “American Indian princess”. Many of those claiming Indian princess status are among white ethnic groups. I wonder why the claim of Indian ancestry does not bring fear to them, but rather a pride especially if the Indian ancestry is claimed along with a mixture of colonial descent. Is it the pride of a conqueror?
For African Americans with Indian ancestry you must bring Grandma’s hidden memories to light before they become deathbed confessions. Appreciate the rich legacy of two histories that demonstrate survival against all odds in yester-years and today. Express the future with promise of strength to continue to succeed against all odds.
It is your legacy and your life… don’t live it through hidden memories –make it a known reality.
Many families over the years have had a formal or informal historian. This person tracks the family births, deaths, marriages, and locations of family members. This person keeps records through saving newspaper clippings, photographs, letters, and other memorabilia. All of these items are important in searching for your family black and red roots.
A treasure chest of information can most importantly be found in family Bibles. In the front of these Bibles is not only the owner of the Bible and perhaps when it was received but also a space for family genealogy or family records. Additionally, there is generally not a family Bible that does not have within its pages many hand written notes, book marks, photographs with names or dates written on the back, programs from Church services, ribbons, pressed flowers, and many other items that give clues to family ancestry.
Each of these items has a history that must be investigated to learn more about your family tree. Next, find the oldest living family member or members and request to talk with them about their life, recollections of what has happened over time within the family, and question them about any items you might have found that appear to have significance to learning about your family in general and your black and red roots specifically.
Article by CherokeeCloud
Written September 2, 2006