African-Native American Research Forum Archive
Black Indian Video Documentary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MAY 23 2000
BLACK INDIANS DO THEY EXIST? NEW DOCUMENTARY ANSWERS THIS QUESTION IN:
"BLACK INDIANS: AN AMERICAN STORY"
Dallas TX May 23 2000 "A society that wants to build the future must know its past it real past as it was." But what if that past had been lost forgotten hidden or denied?
"Black Indians: An American Story" explores the issue of racial identity among Native and African Americans. This in-depth documentary examines the coalescence of these two groups in American history. Discounted and often ignored by mainstream America these minority peoples have often shared a common past. However with their heritage ignored and their contributions denied they are all but invisible at the dawn of the new millennium.
"Black Indians" An American Story" is the lastest release from the award-winning Native American production company Rich-Heape Films. Director Chip Richie brings to light this vital but hidden story that is rich in history and compelling in its contemporary meaning. "It's an exploration of the untold story of two disparate peoples bound by circumstances beyond their control" says Richie. "We wanted to know who they are how they came to be the struggles that beset their past and the challenges they face today."
A critical piece of our multi-cultural heritage this subject is more often than not downplayed in the annals of American history and modern day classrooms. Far from headline news stories dating from the 1820's occasionally appear in fits and starts disclosing the perils and heroism of runaway slaves and Seminoles uniting to fight the U.S. Army in Florida Everglades or hailing the bravery of the Freedmen in the post-Civil War era.
It was a black and white world in the early days of the Republic and little or no thought was given to people of mixed race especially if they lookd "black". "We were told if you could pass for white that's who you'd be; if not it was usually better to be indentified as black than Indian " recalls Executive Producer Steven Heape. "It was this kind of thinking that later led to 'pencil genocide'--changing one's race on a birth certificate to fit the skin color of the child."
A multitude of themes emerged from interviews with Black Indians from the Narrangansetts Pequots Seminoles Cherokees and other tribes. Leading historians deem blood versus culture de-tribalization and the importance of personal identity in an increasingly multicultural world as critical issues that bring to bear the need for a historically accurate and objective examination of this topic. "Black Indians: An American Story" reveals this unknown story and raises powerful questions about racial considerations in 21st century America.
Rich-Heape Films Inc
Toll Free:888-600-2922 or 214-696-6916
2 jun 2000]