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African-Native American Genealogy Forum

Re: Cherokee In Louisiana
In Response To: Re: Cherokee In Louisiana ()

Firstly Joyce, its not her ladder. The racial social ladder was created by white America. We, people of color simply respond to it, right or wrong. Ms. Mills is not just a genealogist, she is a reknowned genealogist and author. She has done extensive research on southern white families, her specialty. She has been instrumental in transforming genealogy from a hobby with few rules and no respect, to a science. Many do not know of her or her work because they still practice the old form of genealogy where family oral history, assumption and outright fabrication are more important than facts uncovered by hard research.

If you are interested in Ms. Mills, I think she lives in the Washington, DC area and her books are available from major book dealers. For a while, she was required to go into hiding after doing research in Louisiana. Her work on the recognition project of the socalled "Clifton Band of Choctaws" where she uncovered the fact that they were not of any Indian or Choctaw descent, but were in fact of African ancestry mixed with French, nearly cost her her life.

The Cliftons, Zwolles and various other groups claiming to be Indians in Louisiana should be thanking her for providing them with factual proof of their ancestry. Instead, they reject the truth, cling to their baseless oral traditions and make threats. Instead of looking outward in desperate efforts to attach to a race and culture that does not belong to them, they should rejoice in their own heritage. But that would require them to admit that their ancestors lied. We can respect the old ones because their lie was a matter of absolute survival or an effort to improve the lives of their descendants. There is no need for that now. We are who we are, and our research lets us rejoice in our true heritage. Its ok to be black, white, Indian or any combination. But its not ok to perpetuate untruths rooted in America's racism; because when we do, we perpetuate racism.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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