BLACK NDNS

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

449 Plays

NPR: Who Gets To Decide Who Is Native American?

August 9, 2012

A controversy about identity has erupted in the race for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts. News outlets revealed Democrat Elizabeth Warren claimed Cherokee ancestry during her academic career, and critics say Warren isn’t providing enough documentation to prove her identity. Host Michel Martin discusses just who is Native American.

Guests: 

Rob Capriccioso is the Washington D.C. Bureau Chief for Indian Country Today Media Network. An enrolled citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians in Sault Ste. Marie.

Dr. Tiya Miles is an American historian, and professor in the Department of History and chair of the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan. She is a 2011 MacArthur Fellow. Her work includes: Ties That Bind: The Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom,The House on Diamond Hill: A Cherokee Plantation Story , “Why the Freedmen Fight”

Pain of ‘Trail of Tears’ shared by Blacks as well as Native Americans

CNN | Tiya Miles | 2/27/12

African American history, as it is often told, includes two monumental migration stories: the forced exodus of Africans to the Americas during the brutal Middle Passage of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, and the voluntary migration of Black residents who moved from southern farms and towns to northern cities in the early 1900s in search of “the warmth of other suns.”

A third African-American migration story—just as epic, just as grave—hovers outside the familiar frame of our historical consciousness. The iconic tragedy of Indian Removal: the Cherokee Trail of Tears that relocated thousands of Cherokees to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma), was also a Black migration. Slaves of Cherokees walked this trail along with their Indian owners.

In 1838, the U.S. military and Georgia militia expelled Cherokees from their homeland with little regard for Cherokee dignity or life. Families were rousted out of their cabins and directed at gunpoint by soldiers. Forced to leave most of their possessions behind, they witnessed white Georgians taking ownership of their cabins, looting and burning once cherished objects. Cherokees were loaded into “stockades” until the appointed time of their departure, when they were divided into thirteen groups of nearly 1,000 people, each with two appointed leaders. The travelers set out on multiple routes to cross Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas at 10 miles a day with meager supplies.

At points along the way, the straggling bands were charged fees by white farmers to cross privately owned land. The few wagons available were used to carry the sick, infant, and elderly. Most walked through the fall and into the harsh winter months, suffering the continual deaths of loved ones to cold, disease, and accident. Among these sojourners were African Americans and Cherokees of African descent. They, like thousands of other Cherokees, arrived in Indian Country in 1839 broken, depleted, and destitute.

In addition to bearing the physical and emotional hardships of the trip, enslaved Blacks were enlisted to labor for Cherokees along the way; they hunted, chopped wood, nursed the sick, washed clothes, prepared the meals, guarded the camps at night, and hiked ahead to remove obstructions from the roads.

One Cherokee man, Nathaniel Willis, remembered in the 1930s that: “My grandparents were helped and protected by very faithful Negro slaves who … went ahead of the wagons and killed any wild beast who came along.” Nearly 4,000 Cherokees died during the eviction, as did an unaccounted for number of Blacks. As one former slave of Cherokees, Eliza Whitmire, said in the 1930s: “The weeks that followed General Scott’s order to remove the Cherokees were filled with horror and suffering for the unfortunate Cherokees and their slaves.”

Although Black presence on the Trail of Tears is a documented historical fact, many have willed it into forgetfulness.

Some African Americans avoid confronting the painful reality of Native American slave ownership, preferring instead to fondly imagine any Indian ancestor in the family tree and to picture all Indian communities in the South as safe havens for runaway slaves.

Some Cherokee citizens and Native people of other removed slaveholding tribes (Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Seminoles) have also denied this history, desiring to cordon off forced removal as an atrocious wrong that affected only Native Americans. By excluding Blacks (many of whom had Native “blood”) from a claim on this history, these deniers also seek to expel the descendants of Freedmen and women from the circle of tribal belonging. For it is the memory of this collective tragedy, perhaps more than any other, that binds together Cherokees who draw strength from having survived it.

As a researcher whose work focuses on African-American and Native American histories, I have encountered this resistance. A few years ago, I spoke on the subject of Blacks in the Cherokee removal at a conference of the National Trail of Tears Association. One member of the audience, a Cherokee instructor of Cherokee history, insisted that this was an historical event only for Cherokees, a story that rightfully belonged to them alone. This is a view shared by a former principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, who reportedly implied in a published remark that descendants of Freedpeople do not deserve tribal rights because they did not suffer the collective trauma of removal. The Trail of Tears is a sacred story to the Cherokees, as in special and set apart. It carries a meaningful lesson across time and space—-about greed, injustice, and the perseverance of a people staring into a bleak and unknown future. However, a potent story shared with others is not necessarily diminished by the sharing; it might instead grow stronger in its ability to enlighten.

Read More

(Source: local10.com)

30 Plays

MacArthur ‘Genius’ Tiya Miles does pioneering research on the relationship between Cherokee Indians and African-Americans. She speaks with host Michel Martin about shedding light on the unexplored history of Native American and African-American slavery in Michigan.

Download the free podcast or read the text transcript here.

If I did not see light in the story, I could not tell it.

Tiya MilesTiya Miles

Our interview with the public historian who is unearthing the “complex interrelationships between African American and Cherokee people in pre-colonial America” is in the final stages of production. Look for our interview next week.

~Trent Gilliss, senior editor

(via beingblog)

Red/Black: Related Through History

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

 
Programming for the whole family to enjoy (Click program name for details)
 

Teachers!
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.

beingblog:

Tiya Miles, Public Historian

by Susan Leem, associate producer

“In my family, there was an oral history about Native American heritage. And it’s one that my grandmother talked about when I was young many a time on her front porch. So when I went to graduate school I wanted to explore this, and I was at a Native American history seminar when I first learned about Native American slave-holding. So I was confronted with two different ideas, or stories, about these relationships.”
Tiya Miles

The MacArthur Foundation brought this fresh voice to our attention when it announced a public historian as one of their recent “genius” grant recipients. This is a fascinating title, and a weighty responsibility. What makes a historian a “public” one? And once you hear her speak, you’ll ask, “Why aren’t there more?”

(via chocol8luv-deactivated20120308)


This beautifully written book tells the haunting saga of a  quintessentially American family. It is the story of Shoe Boots, a famed  Cherokee warrior and successful farmer, and Doll, an African slave he  acquired in the late 1790s. Over the next thirty years, Shoe Boots and  Doll lived together as master and slave and also as lifelong partners  who, with their children and grandchildren, experienced key events in  American history—including slavery, the Creek War, the founding of the  Cherokee Nation and subsequent removal of Native Americans along the  Trail of Tears, and the Civil War. This is the gripping story of their  lives, in slavery and in freedom. Meticulously crafted from historical and literary sources, Ties That Bind vividly  portrays the members of the Shoeboots family. Doll emerges as an  especially poignant character, whose life is mostly known through the  records of things done to her—her purchase, her marriage, the loss of  her children—but also through her moving petition to the federal  government for the pension owed to her as Shoe Boots’s widow. A  sensitive rendition of the hard realities of black slavery within Native  American nations, the book provides the fullest picture we have of the  myriad complexities, ironies, and tensions among African Americans,  Native Americans, and whites in the first half of the nineteenth  century.

Google Preview available.

This beautifully written book tells the haunting saga of a quintessentially American family. It is the story of Shoe Boots, a famed Cherokee warrior and successful farmer, and Doll, an African slave he acquired in the late 1790s. Over the next thirty years, Shoe Boots and Doll lived together as master and slave and also as lifelong partners who, with their children and grandchildren, experienced key events in American history—including slavery, the Creek War, the founding of the Cherokee Nation and subsequent removal of Native Americans along the Trail of Tears, and the Civil War. This is the gripping story of their lives, in slavery and in freedom. Meticulously crafted from historical and literary sources, Ties That Bind vividly portrays the members of the Shoeboots family. Doll emerges as an especially poignant character, whose life is mostly known through the records of things done to her—her purchase, her marriage, the loss of her children—but also through her moving petition to the federal government for the pension owed to her as Shoe Boots’s widow. A sensitive rendition of the hard realities of black slavery within Native American nations, the book provides the fullest picture we have of the myriad complexities, ironies, and tensions among African Americans, Native Americans, and whites in the first half of the nineteenth century.

Google Preview available.

Public Historian Tiya Miles was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2011. The Fellowship is a $500,000, no-strings-attached grant for individuals who have shown exceptional creativity in their work and the promise to do more. Learn more at http://www.macfound.org/fellows

Ultralite Powered by Tumblr | Designed by:Doinwork