BLACK NDNS

BLACK NDNs. "If you know I have a history, you will respect me."

The Buffalo Post: Radmilla Cody - An unusual Miss Navajo

By Leo W. Banks, of High Country News | March 7, 2011

Grand Falls, Arizona

Radmilla Cody knows the way home. It’s not an easy journey. The dirt roads are canoe-shaped and gouged by rain. They curl around hills and plunge into deep draws, finally bringing us to the family homestead near Grand Falls, on the Navajo Reservation.

Cody grew up on these lonesome sage flats. Her Navajo mother, Margaret, took off to Georgia shortly after giving birth to Cody at age 18. Her father, Troy Davis, was a 43-year-old black man who worked as a driver for a Ford dealer in Flagstaff. Her grandmother, Dorothy, raised her the Navajo way.

Out here, without running water or electricity, Cody learned rug-weaving and sheepherding, and began to sing – first to the sheep in the corrals, then, at the age of 7, in her grandmother’s Christian church. In junior high, at Leupp Boarding School, she decided to make a career of it, influenced by her Uncle Herman, a musician, and her grandfather, Archie Cody, a medicine man.

She needed all her Navajo skills to win the title of Miss Navajo in 1997, at age 22 – the reservation’s first bi-racial beauty queen. Then her life took a sharp downward turn. She became entangled in an abusive relationship with a drug dealer and ended up in federal prison.

Read More

The Root: Black, Red and Proud

Radmilla Cody’s crowning as Miss Navajo Nation in 1997 triggered an outcry and a conversation about what it means to be Native American. Now she’s featured in a museum exhibit showing the rarely told history of African-Native Americans.

Cynthia Gordy | February 22, 2011

In a 1920 edition of the Journal of Negro History, Carter G. Woodson observed, “One of the longest unwritten chapters in the history of the United States is that treating of the relations of the Negroes and the Indians.”

"Red/Black: Related Through History," a new exhibit at Indianapolis’ Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, illuminates this rarely told story. Since the first arrival of enslaved Africans in North America, the relationships between African Americans and Native Americans have encompassed alliances and adversaries, as well as the indivisible blending of customs and culture.

"It’s not received a lot of attention because it’s not the dominant culture’s story, although it’s very important to the dominant culture’s bigger view of the past," says James Nottage, curator of the exhibit, which includes narratives of enslaved blacks who traveled the Trail of Tears with their Native owners; slaves who intermarried into Native tribes as an escape from bondage; and the largely African-featured members of the Shinnecock tribe of New York, as well as shared traditions in food, dress and music.

Radmilla Cody, 35, a Native American Music Award-winning singer and anti-do

mestic violence activist, is also featured in the exhibit. The daughter of a Navajo mother and an African-American father, Cody was raised by her grandmother in the Arizona Navajo community, initially speaking only the Navajo language. In 1997 she was crowned Miss Navajo Nation, sparking controversy from some members who refused to accept her.

As one disapproving letter to the editor of the Navajo Times put it, “Miss Cody’s appearance and physical characteristics are clearly black, and thus are representative of another race of people. It appears that those judges who selected Miss Cody have problems with their own sense of identity.”

Read More

yeahcoolwhatever:

although i may be multi-racial, i was raised only by my mother, whos native american; a Navajo. so i grew up with the culture and no matter how far i am from home, i will always embrace being a Navajo.

and growing up, i heard a lot of navajo music - one singer being Radmilla Cody. i always thought she had a beautiful voice.

(Source: bazooka-and-soda-powder)

multiracial:

Radmilla Cody
(Native American (Navajo)/African-American) [Navajo Nation/American]
Known as:  Award winning singer, model & anti-domestic violence activist (46th Miss Navajo Nation; First biracial Miss Navajo Nation)
More Information: Radmilla Cody’s Official Page, Radmilla Cody’s Facebook page, NPR: Radmilla Cody: Two Cultures, One Voice, Radmilla Cody’s Wikipedia page
Albums: “Within the Four Directions”, “Seed of Life”, “Spirit of a Woman”, “Precious Friends”
Videos: A Beautiful Dawn, Tears, Song & Dance Romance, Radmilla Singing
Thanks to wellimjustsayin for suggesting today’s Daily Multiracial!
If you’d like to suggest someone as a future Daily Multiracial, please let us know!

multiracial:

Radmilla Cody

(Native American (Navajo)/African-American) [Navajo Nation/American]

Known as: Award winning singer, model & anti-domestic violence activist (46th Miss Navajo Nation; First biracial Miss Navajo Nation)

More Information: Radmilla Cody’s Official Page, Radmilla Cody’s Facebook page, NPR: Radmilla Cody: Two Cultures, One Voice, Radmilla Cody’s Wikipedia page

Albums: “Within the Four Directions”, “Seed of Life”, “Spirit of a Woman”, “Precious Friends”

Videos: A Beautiful Dawn, Tears, Song & Dance Romance, Radmilla Singing

Thanks to wellimjustsayin for suggesting today’s Daily Multiracial!


If you’d like to suggest someone as a future Daily Multiracial, please let us know!

theotherblack:

Artist Toni Scott work entitled “Black Indian”

theotherblack:

Artist Toni Scott work entitled “Black Indian”

The love story that changed history: Fascinating photographs of interracial marriage at a time when it was banned in 16 states

Just 45 years ago, 16 states deemed marriages between two people of different races illegal.

But in 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court considered the case of Richard Perry Loving, who was white, and his wife, Mildred Loving, of African American and Native American descent.

The case changed history - and was captured on film by LIFE photographer Grey Villet, whose black-and-white photographs are now set to go on display at the International Center of Photography.

Twenty images show the tenderness and family support enjoyed by Mildred and Richard and their three children, Peggy, Sidney and Donald.

The children, unaware of the struggles their parents face, are captured by Villet as blissfully happy as they play in the fields near their Virginia home or share secrets with their parents on the couch.

Their parents, caught sharing a kiss on their front porch, appear more worry-stricken.

And it is no wonder - eight years prior, the pair had married in the District of Columbia to evade the Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which banned any white person marrying any non-white person.

But when they returned to Virginia, police stormed into their room in the middle of the night and they were arrested.

The pair were found guilty of miscegenation in 1959 and were each sentenced to one year in prison, suspended for 25 years if they left Virginia.

They moved back to the District of Columbia, where they began the long legal battle to erase their criminal records - and justify their relationship.

Following vocal support from the Presbyterian and Roman Catholic churches, the Lovings won the fight - with the Supreme Court branding Virginia’s anti-miscegenation law unconstitutional in 1967.

It wrote in its decision: ‘Marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man, fundamental to our very existence and survival.

'To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law.' [Read more

Island Smith (1877-?)

The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed:

Island Smith was a celebrated African Creek native healer (or root doctor) who practiced his art in the hinterlands southwest of Okmulgee in the years after Oklahoma statehood. Smith was born outside of Taft, Oklahoma in 1877 to Hannah (later Robinson) and Isaac Smith.  His father died when Smith was a small boy and his mother remarried and the family moved to the area southwest of Okmulgee where they operated a small subsistence ranch/farm in the years before allotment.  Smith recalled that the family cultivated about an acre of corn for home use and raised cattle, hogs, and horses.  They also gathered wild foods and hunted deer, rabbit, squirrel, possum, and raccoon.  With this lifestyle, Smith recalled that they “seldom had use for money in the early days [the 1880s and 1890s] and spent it as soon as we got it.”  When the family needed flour, coffee, sugar, or other household items, they simply rounded up some hogs and sold them in Okmulgee.

Smith learned to identify and prepare roots and herbs and to administer them as medicines in the traditional Creek way, and after he was older he became known for his abilities as a native healer.  Smith attributed his abilities to his mixed African-Indian heritage saying: “Cross blood means extra knowledge.  I can take my cane (a hollow reed that channels a native healer’s energy and is used to administer herbal medicines) and blow it twice and do the same as a full-blood Creek doctor does in four times.  Two bloods means two talents.  Two bloods has more swifter solid good sense and I is one of them.”

Text Sources:
Gary Zellar, African Creeks: Estelvste and the Creek Nation (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2007); Sigmund Sameth, “Creek Negroes: A Study in Race Relations,” Master’s Thesis, University of Oklahoma, 1941.


In Becoming Indian, author Circe Sturm examines Cherokee  identity politics and the phenomenon of racial shifting. Racial  shifters, as described by Sturm, are people who have changed their  racial self-identification from non-Indian to Indian on the US Census.  Many racial shifters are people who, while looking for their roots, have  recently discovered their Native American ancestry. Others have family  stories of an Indian great-great-grandmother or -grandfather they have  not been able to document. Still others have long known they were of  Native American descent, including their tribal affiliation, but only  recently have become interested in reclaiming this aspect of their  family history. Despite their differences, racial shifters share a  conviction that they have Indian blood when asserting claims of  indigeneity. Becoming Indian explores the social and cultural  values that lie behind this phenomenon and delves into the motivations  of these Americans—from so many different walks of life—to reinscribe  their autobiographies and find deep personal and collective meaning in  reclaiming their Indianness. Sturm points out that “becoming Indian” was  not something people were quite as willing to do forty years ago—the  willingness to do so now reveals much about the shifting politics of  race and indigeneity in the United States.

Excerpt available online (PDF).

In Becoming Indian, author Circe Sturm examines Cherokee identity politics and the phenomenon of racial shifting. Racial shifters, as described by Sturm, are people who have changed their racial self-identification from non-Indian to Indian on the US Census. Many racial shifters are people who, while looking for their roots, have recently discovered their Native American ancestry. Others have family stories of an Indian great-great-grandmother or -grandfather they have not been able to document. Still others have long known they were of Native American descent, including their tribal affiliation, but only recently have become interested in reclaiming this aspect of their family history. Despite their differences, racial shifters share a conviction that they have Indian blood when asserting claims of indigeneity. Becoming Indian explores the social and cultural values that lie behind this phenomenon and delves into the motivations of these Americans—from so many different walks of life—to reinscribe their autobiographies and find deep personal and collective meaning in reclaiming their Indianness. Sturm points out that “becoming Indian” was not something people were quite as willing to do forty years ago—the willingness to do so now reveals much about the shifting politics of race and indigeneity in the United States.

Excerpt available online (PDF).

Ultralite Powered by Tumblr | Designed by:Doinwork