African-Native American Research Forum Archive
Re: Black Indians of the South
In Response To: Black Indians of the South ()
In general freedmen can refer to former slaves. In the context of the message board here the Freedmen in relation to Oklahoma history pertains to the former slaves of the Five "Civilized" Tribes. However the term Freedmen is also a misnomer used against many men and women of African descent to exclude them from citizenship in the nations where they were born lived and died.
There were many "Freedmen" who had Indian parents thus making them 50% Indian but they were placed of rolls called "Freedmen" thus putting them down as 0% Indian. There were others who lived in the Nations who had never been enslaved who were fully African Free people again recorded as "Freedmen" thus placing them and their descendants in this position of exclusion from the nations where they were born lived and died.
Here on this site the formal term Freedmen refers to the Oklahoma Freedmen those African ancestored citizens of Indian Territory. However generically the word does include Freed persons from other places as well. In addition it is important to note that many Oklahoma Freedmen left behind family in the southern states when they were taken to Indian Territory. The bond therefore between Oklahoma Freedmen and Freedmen from other states is still there and important to recognize.
[17 jan 2001]
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