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African-Native American Genealogy Forum

Re: Lies and Misrepresentations About the freedmen

Yes, there definitely is confusion about "which" tribes were involved. On MSNBC, I had a fellow Notre Dame graduate lambast the Seminoles as being extremely racist because of the freedmen controversy. I responded by saying that the Seminoles of Florida were not involved. The Seminoles of Oklahoma are distinct from Florida Seminoles in formally voting against part-African membership. Here in Florida, it is easy to see that some of the Seminoles are clearly part African and were not "voted" out of the tribe. Historically, the Seminoles actually helped slaves escape from white plantations. In return, the African escapees helped the Seminoles avoid surrender through warfare and effective dialogue as translators. To me, the African slave escapees probably understood that any treaty signed by the Seminoles would be taken as a "surrender," so the Africans convinced the Seminoles not to sign the treaties. So now, the Seminoles are the only Natives to have never formally surrendered. Historically, this fact can probably be partially attributed to the African slave escapees who understood perfect English and the Seminoles during their interpretations of the "proposed" peace treaties that were actually terms for surrender.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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