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African-Native American Genealogy Forum

Black History Month in LeFlore County, OK

Hello All,

I think it’s important to educate the people about our unique and almost erased history, during black history Month. Although, I think it should be an ongoing endeavor, throughout the year, we should definitely put emphasis on it, during the designated Month of February.

We’ve been doing a numbers of things here in the Spiro, Oklahoma area for Black history Month. For example, we are profiling a black Indian every week in the local newspaper, the Spiro Graphic.

I did my mother, Electa Triplett, last week, revealing that her great grand father, James Darneal was the last Sheriff and Executioner for the Choctaw Nation. I got some good reviews because people in this area didn’t know that history. I got responses from my “white Indian” cousins, who were very inquisitive, because they didn’t know. By sharing and educating this history with them, I’m beginning to notice a blending relationship.

We are planning on profiling Squire Hall, a Choctaw Freedmen who was a prominent man during reconstruction in the Choctaw Nation. He was a deputy sheriff of the Braden Bottoms, a sharecroppers Community, during that era.

We are planning on profiling many more Black Indians to educate the people that they did a lot to help build the Indian Nations, during reconstruction.

We are also educating the people about many families that migrated to Indian Territory during the late 1800’s from Conway County, Arkansas because they lost faith and hope in the United States of America.

Many blacks left Conway County, Arkansas because the Democratic Party, in their zeal to gain political power, and, blacks, being the weakest link, became a target of voter suppression, racism, corruption, and, ultimately, lynchings.

There was a “back to Africa” movement were many blacks went to Liberia seeking a better Country. Others went to Indian Territories because of the horrible climate of overt and covert racism that permeated throughout central Arkansas, during that time.

The Republican Party was considered the liberation Party during that time, because Lincoln, a Republican, had issued the Emancipation Proclamation—freeing the slaves. So therefore, blacks felt a close kin and sense of loyalty to the Republican Party.

The Republican Party was winning elections by building a coalition of Blacks and poor Whites and that created jealously from the Democrats, who resorted to violence.

Ultimately, the Democratic Party won because the Republican Party lost political power in the early 1900’s and never recovered. To this day, the Democratic Party is the ruling Party in Arkansas Politics.
Some of the Families that left Conway County, Arkansas were my great grandfather, George Brewer, the Shoates, the Delts, the Steeles—all of Fort Coffee, Oklahoma. The bulk of the residents of this area are descendants of these people that were forced to leave Conway County, Arkansas seeking a better Nation.

VERDIE TRIPLETT


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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