African-Native American Research Forum Archive
Re: Why Must We Be Wannabees?
In Response To: Why Must We Be Wannabees? ()
First it is important to distinguish between a wannabe and a resarcher.
A researcher ie genealogist is a scientist who will announce a hypothesis. The genealogist will say, I think I may have Native American ancestry based upon the oral traditions of my family and I will research, document and publish what I find no matter where it leads or what it says.
The wannabe will announce he has Native American ancestry based upon family oral tradition. He may or may not do research, but no matter what evidence there may be to the contrary or no evidence at all, he will hold fast to his proclamation because it has become part and parcel of his identity.
I, as an authentic Indian, have been required to prove a specific degree of blood, while the wannabe is free to claim any blood quantum he wants. I, an authentic Indian, have proven my racial and legal connections to the Cherokee tribe of Indians. The wannabe is free to claim one or many tribes while proving nothing. I often wonder how someone could be 1/8 Cherokee, which means a great grandparent was a full blood, and there be absolutely no records of that fact, while an authentic Cherokee might be 1/512 and there is literally hundreds of linear feet of documents proving it. The 1/512 person is stuck with whatever the documentation says. The wannabe is free to ebb and flow his blood claims based upon convenience, audience and whim.
And finally I wish to point out that it is an insult to authentic Cherokees, whose ancestors suffered to be included upon tribal rolls, endured hardships including the Trail of Tears, loss of land, language and culture, children forced into boarding schools, when someone with no proof of same, comes forward to lay claim to our history, culture, language, religion and identity. Definately a slap in the face to our ancestors.
Wannabes claim that their ancestors "hid out" from the census takers. I say no one was even looking for their ancestors because they were not Indians. Wannabes will say "my ancestors were left off the Dawes Rolls." But then I will wonder what about the 29 other rolls that predate Dawes?
Wannabes will say "my ancestors jumped off the Trail of Tears." Which leads me to ask, "Why then, are your ancestors not listed on the Trail of Tears Roll?" Did your ancestors have an erasor and hitchhike to Washington, DC to cover their tracks and erase their own records? Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot there was a huge conspiracy to erase Indian records, LOL. But then what about the missionary records, which authentic Cherokees' ancestors appear in great numbers? Why are your ancestors NO WHERE to be found at any time in Cherokee history?
If you are a serious researcher of your family history and not a wannabe, you will state the hypothesis and then do research. When you are finished you will announce your findings. That will either be what the records say or what they do not say. If you are a wannabe, you will proclaim yourself to be an Indian no matter what the records say. And a final note, because of the racial hatred against blacks our nation has suffered, there is plenty of reason for your ancestors to have lied about their race.
Good luck in your research.
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