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African American DNA Research Forum

Re: AncestrybyDNA 2.5 Results
In Response To: Re: AncestrybyDNA 2.5 Results ()

Hello cuz,

Yes, your remarks were right on target!

As you know, I research African-Native American ancestry, and the research is based on the documented ties that blacks from Oklahoma have to the tribes that were forced west. A large majority of those with documented ties to those tribes were connected as slaves to the mixed blood Indians who were slave owners, and who fought with the South in the Civil War to preserve the enslavement of blacks which were not freed until 1866 when they were forced to do so, a full year after the Civil War.

Was there Indian blood in the families of the Freedmen of Indian Territory? Yes, in many cases there is a blood connection to the tribes, no question.

However, the reality is that also in many cases of the same families there was none. The recent article in the NY Times revealed that the leader of the Freedman's Association reflected less than 5% blood from the DNA test taken a year ago.

Those who descend from Freedmen from the Five Nations of Oklahoma have documented proof of their ancestor's ties to the tribe---BUT the documented proof from tribal enrollment records, reflects that their ancestors were slaves in the tribe.

Several years ago a genealogist was so enraged to hear any possibility that Cherokees could have owned slaves, that she attempted to start a flame war insisting that Indians--Cherokees in particular "were not slave owning people"--her words. The attempt failed, but the concept was so impossible for her to embrace.

The desire to connect with Indians is so strongly built into the psyche of our people that we often overlook historical fact, to form a bond with those who do not bond with us.

I receive emails often from persons claiming ties to populations that never lived where their ancestors lived. And there are the several dozen fake tribes, both black and white that are abundant, and that are eager to accept money from anyone who is so willing to be Indian, that they will join.

Sound historical research should be the basis of how genealogy should be conducted, but many will simply embrace an the unnamed Blackfoot ancestor, to feel better about themselves, in spite of the fact that no Blackfoot language, tradition, customs (from cooking to burial rites) exist in the family.

Your words are so accurate, that we have become so programmed to "hate our African-ness" and to declare the other heritage "before the obvious predominate heritage". Sadly this is true, and the story becomes even more complicated with in Oklahoma research in particular where there are the several thousand Freedmen records, that are there to be researched.

The concept of embracing the more obvious and visible African first,--is pushed aside so often in the quest to find the long lost Indian. And as you and others have mentioned, regardless of DNA proof the desire to be less African seems to be so strong.

Clearly the after effects of slavery are so strong and continue to this day. Hopefully we may embrace all of who we are, beginning with the African ancestor.

-Angela-

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AncestrybyDNA 2.5 Results
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18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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