“What motivates people who look “black” to claim to be Indian? When answered in a manner divorced from lived experience, the question produces many misplaced expectations about black and Indian mixed-bloods and demonstrates the fixity with which American race making practices ascribe blackness. The question is central because it engages the problematic American cultural practice of assessing and assuming identity from skin color… One set of expectations urges black and Indian mixed-blood to accept that they are black and stop “pretending” to be Indian. this requires individuals to forget that they have Indian relatives and remember that it is skin color that determines who they are. This expectation about African and Native American bloods created several misconceptions that 1) assessments of of heritage from skin are viable and accurate; 2)family composition and lived cultural practices can be determined from an individual’s skin color;…”
-excerpt from What Is A Black Indian by Robert Keith Collins in the book inDivisible
Posted February 22, 2012 at 9:50am in indiVisible Black Indians Black NDNs Native American Robert Keith Collins
Eiteljorg Museum | Indianapolis, Indiana | FEB 12 - AUG 7, 2011
Explore the interwoven histories of African Americans and Native Americans with Red/Black: Related Through History. This groundbreaking exhibition is the result of a partnership between the Eiteljorg Museum and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). Red/Black includes the NMAI panel exhibit IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas and portrays the shared experiences of African and Native Americans as allies and adversaries, through images, artifacts, film and more. The exhibition also explores issues of race and identity and the question: “Who am I and who gets to say so?” Red/Black will be supported by performances, genealogy workshops, lectures and other dynamic programming.
The story of this largely ignored subject is told through personal narratives, paintings, baskets, pottery, photographs and other rare items gathered from private collections and museums across the country. See a basket made by a Cherokee-owned slave and hear drum music with shared African and Native rhythms. Learn how the exhibit narrative relates to you, what we know about the past and how people judge one another.
IndiVisible was produced by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). The exhibition was made possible, in part, thanks to the generous support of the Akaloa Resource Foundation and the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.
Find Red/Black in the News
Find Red/Black in the News
Programming for the whole family to enjoy (Click program name for details)
- Feb. 12, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Opening Day
- Feb. 12, 2:30 p.m. Lecture: “Deerskin, Mud Cloth and Wool” by Penny Gamble-Williams (Chappaquiddick/Wampanoag)
- March 19, 2:30 p.m. Lecture: “Hearing Radmilla” by Radmilla Cody (Navajo (Diné)/African American)
- March 19, 7 p.m. Concert: Traditional Navajo songs by Radmilla Cody Additional fee.
- April 8, 7 p.m. Concert: Jazz, blues and popular music by Blair Clark (Chippewa/African American) Additional fee.
- April 9, 11 a.m. Concert: Electro-acoustic ambient music by Adam Riviere
- May 21, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Genealogy Day featuring Angela Walton-Raji and Charmayne Champion Shaw (Cheyenne)
- June 18, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Storytelling: Khabir the Storyteller recounts tales of the First Kansas Colored Infantry
- June 18, 12 and 2 p.m. Concert: A capella African American folks songs by Freetown Village Singers
- June 18, 2:45 p.m. Lecture: The Dynamics of Common Unity between African and Native Americans—Evidence from African-American Narratives by Dr. Robert Keith Collins (African-Choctaw)
- July 23, 2:30 p.m. Lecture: Like the Indians Themselves—Blacks in the 19th century Cherokee Nation by Dr. Tiya Miles
We have created a curriculum for third and fifth grade Indiana classrooms. to download the curriculum and to check out the other classroom resources created by the Eiteljorg Museum click here. Additionally, there will be a workshop just for you on Feb. 19. Click here for more info on the workshop.
Posted January 25, 2012 at 1:25pm in Eiteljorg Museum Indianapolis Black Indians Black Natives African American Native American African-Native American American Indian Penny Gamble- Williams Radmilla Cody Blair Clark Adam Riviere Angela Walton-Raji Charmayne Champion Shaw First Kansas Colored Infantry Khabir the Storyteller Freetown Village Singers Robert Keith Collins Tiya Miles