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African-Native American Research Forum Archive

Re: Freedmen's Association (Descendant's)

I've been thinking how to best respond to the replies of my initial proposal for a Freedmen's Descendant's Association. Without doubt there is a need for such an organization based on one need alone. The education of the public about the history of slavery within the so called Five Civilized Tribes.

The response that had me most perplexed was the idea this could by it's very nature be something "focused" as it would regard the activities of the organization. After giving it much thought I have become bewildered as to what that focus would be other than an educational preservation and informational publishing organization based on the history and genealogy of the Freedmen of the so called Five Civilized Tribes.

One of the responses stated the fear of the elimination of OUR history from the history of the so called Five Civilized Tribes. That may be happening as we speak. It will only be thwarted throught the efforts of the Freedmen descendants and their committment to the preservation and education of the history of the Five Tribes and their history of enslavement of the African.

How fortunate yes I said fortunate these other lists refuse to acknowledge the "actual" history of THEIR/OUR ancestors. It leaves the responsibilty on the shoulders of the people that can only tell the truth through the voices that had so few advocating on their behalf. I am obssessed with that mission and would not rely on the enslaver's children to tell the truth of their ancestor's transgressions. Should we really expect them to?

Enuff of all of that for now. I thought we should begin discussions on what the mission of the organization should be. What form the organization should take (membership/dues/resources/publications/directors/archives/responsibilities.....

As I viewed things there is clearly a need for five separate groups or responsibilities. A group of descendant's that would have their membership based on their ancestor's Freedmen affiliation. For some of us that would entitle us to more than one affiliation. For example my father has both Choctaw and Chickasaw Freedmen in his line whereas I've found mainly Choctaw in my maternal line.

This would necessitate the need for at least Five groups and/or Five directors of those groups and the preservation and publication of information specific to those groups. This in effect assist in directing queries and those who would be responsible for the information. Now I know what you are saying let Angela be in charge ;- ) that would not be fair to Angela and it would spread her talents thin. BUT she sure as heck could be one of those professor emeritus types looking over the shoulders of the information flow and ensuring the accuracy of the information.

With all of the budding writers in the genealogy community there is a place for that talent. With all of the researchers in the Freedmen research community there is a need to centralize that effort for the distribution of our history.

Think the list owner that was so upset with the mention of freedmen would not have to power to dismiss the information gathered and powerfully presented. In fact I don't truly believe it is for them this effort should be performed.

Every week I am beginning to receive queries from descendant's of the Freedmen looking for something that will assist them in locating their ancestor's. It is my belief that in the next five years that number will grow exponentially and we have the responsibility to utilize all of our abilities to construct a product that will be there for the folks that follow in our footsteps.

Granted there is so much either one of us is capable of doing I know my plate is full. But the information we can assemble and the manner we provide it for other's is only a formality. One thing I do know and the rest can not truly perform the task. For one thing they don't know who we are. We have not been giving them much information on our history or we could go there and pull these files down today.

The list owner that fought so hard to eliminate all discussion of Freedmen was wrong but in so doing you see the results of that with this chat list.

I still don't know what that focus thing is all about but I'm pretty sure we can deal with it also. My focus is on the Freedmen. Their lives their legacy their history and the enlightenment that comes with it. I'm not ready to paint my self in the corner on what is possible.

I know (sorry I asked already) there will be comments on this but that for time being is the way it should be!


[2 Jul 1999]

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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