African-Native American Research Forum Archive
Re: Other indians
In Response To: Other indians ()
In a certain way I find your question perplexing. You clearly state you are Choctaw and Black you even go further to indicate your granddad was "fullblood". After reading that several questions came to mind.
What of your grandmother or mother for that matter where they considered Choctaw (fullblood or what mixture?)
Are you aware of the history of enslavement of the African by the Choctaws?
Are you aware of the many "African/Blacks" with Choctaw blood who are NOT accepted as members of the nation?
Are you familiar with the clause that intermarriage with anyone of African Descent was forbidden by law that to be a Choctaw your mother had to be Choctaw (only your father could be Choctaw and have children by a woman of African Descent and her children would not be considered Choctaw)?
With that much going against most of us who consider ourselves "Black" why then would we be compelled to attend such a gathering.
Now I have met some very sincere folks who take their Indian heritage to great extents but for me it is hard to accept a culture that had as it's premise the oppression of my ancestors.
If you would like to see more people of African Descent and those with Choctaw bloodlines I would hope you and others like you begin to generate a discussion within your gatherings and organizations to begin addressing the issues of the estranged "Freedmen" of the so called Five Civilized Tribes including the Choctaw Nation.
If you are a member/citizen of the nation I would think this would be an issue you could support. If you want to see more "black" faces at the gatherings an educational/informational campaign among the Choctaw citizens concerning the status of the Freedmen and their descendants.
In my humble opinion I've never wanted to join an organization that does not have my interest as it's goal. Quite frankly other than a cultural exhibition I have no need to participate in something that has little relavence to me.
There are oral histories in my family of ancestors chanting and speaking Choctaw (many of the freedmen were bi-lingual) yet and unfortunately I did not grow up with that as part of my experience. I would not ask you too discontinue the practice from what I understand it is quite a spiritual experience at these gatherings. Yet knowing the history of the Choctaw Nation and its treatment of the African Descendant's I would have a difficult time finding common ground.
Kim I believe you are fortunate to have that experience of both cultures but maybe that is the answer to your question ...many of us have not.
[22 Jul 1999]