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African-Native American Genealogy Forum

Re: Obama's Cherokee Heritage
In Response To: Re: Obama's Cherokee Heritage ()

The probability of Obama's ancestors being listed as "Indian" or "Cherokee" on state census records is next to zero. The practice of states was to record people of mixed-blood as "mulatto" or black or white rather than acknowledge their Indian ancestry for various reasons. Prior to emancipation, Tribal Rolls would have been a fairly reliable indication, given of course that his ancestors were still tribally connected. After emancipation, the various General Allotment Rolls would have listed them by tribe, but they would then have had to be already living on a tribal reservation. As previously stated by others, not all people of Native descent (and who yet still identified themselves as being Native) lived on tribal lands, and some, given the social climate of the times, preferred to "pass" as white in so far as how they were perceived by "outsiders" due to federal & state laws passed that disenfranchised Indians. The vast majority of these Natives were absorbed into the dominant culture through gradual assimilation, but still retain some memory of being descended or connected to Native America...just like Obama.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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