BLACK INDIANS: The Ancestors Will Trouble Our Dreams and Shorten Our Days If we Don't Stand UP

By Gloria Dulan-Wilson

Many a Black person has had the occasion to say, proudly, at some point in their lives, “I have Indian in my family.” It has been known for hundreds of years that Blacks and Indians in the US intermarried extensively, from the East Coast, the South West, the Wild Wild West, and to a small extent, the Northwest.

Certainly the largest numbers of Black and Indian marriages and family lines emanated from the South (Georgia, North and South Carolina, and parts of Florida) and Oklahoma.

Those of you who have been reading either the Black List or my gloriadulanwilson.blogspot have been keeping abreast of a heinous matter roiling out of control in Oklahoma (my homestate)- a state that started out as deeded Indian Territory. Some of you have even heard of the arduous “trail of tears” over which the Cherokee, Seminoles,and other tribes, along with their Black slaves and intermarried wives, trudged in a fierce winter, and died in the early 1800’s, as the result of being given blankets infested with a highly contagious form of smallpox (thanks to famous redneck Andrew Jackson - then President of the US).

From the outset the Oklahoma Territory was inhabited by Blacks and Indians, many of whom had intermarried, built homes,raised families, opened and ran businesses, communities together. Initially, whites were forbidden to go there; and were kept out for 85 years. As a result, we thrived, and built lovely homes, communities, educated our children. We were kool.

To this day, the state of Oklahoma is still inhabited by Blacks and Indians, many of whom are still married, and have homes, businesses and family ties and communities together. But now, things are not as kool as they used to be.

This latest insult on the part of the Cherokee nation, misled by (--I have to say it - wait for it - ) a half-breed whose white ancestry has obviously made him even more of a red neck than most rednecks in the region (and trust me we do have our share). His machinations and manipulations, started by a promise of lucrative funds, have now led to the vote in the Cherokee Supreme Court calling for the ouster of the descendents of Freedman (Oklahomans who are descendants of former slaves who were given full Cherokee Nation rights in 1866 - after the Civil War.

Now, of course these were the former slaves who were "owned" by Indians during the Civil War, who were stupid enough to side with the South. They lost, so they had to abide by the rules. These were not the Indians who originally migrated to Oklahoma with their former "slaves" during the early 1800's, and who had been enjoying life in Oklahoma before, during and after the Civil War. In fact the earlier Black and Indian settlers were none too happy to have the post Civil War crew move in.

Where we once got along and had mutual interests for the most part, things really began to devolve after the Oklahoma Run (read Ruin) of 1889 (April 22, to be exact). The first thing they brought in was Jim Crow, and a whole host of other racist policies - some of which they weren't able to carry through simply because we Blacks had guns, and didn't play.

However as they began to change the tenor of the territory, things degenerated, and eventually the racism was pervasive. The stupid thing is that the Cherokee nation is claiming that the Blacks are no longer part of the tribe as though there were some magic way of unmixing blood. (I know I said this already, but it bears repeating). My DNA, my mother's, father's brother's, sister's, uncle's (not to mention my grandparents - you know ad infinitum) ain't gonna change.

And this ouster seems to be aimed at only 2800 people. And I had to ask myself "why?" As I was conjecturing why the number was so small - a mere 2800 Freedmen - the answer appeared in an article that appeared in the Blacklist, written by Achoctaw1866, to wit: “the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma has managed to reduce the Freedmen Struggle in the media to just 2800 “registered” Cherokee Freedmen, effectively locking out all other Cherokee Freedmen eligible for modern Citizenship enrollment, numbered in the thousands, pulling media away from dissent from Advocates for all other Freedmen.”

Well, I for one don’t plan to allow them to get away with that. This is not a box canyon where you can herd off the few and send the rest on their way as though it has nothing to do with them. In the Black community, regardless of who is in our gene pool, it’s one for all and all for one! And we are all just as outraged as those 2800 brothers and sisters you are trying to jerk around.

I am personally calling on all our people, regardless of the percent of melanin you have in your skin, to stand together for the Black people of Indian heritage regardless of whether they reside in Oklahoma, New York, Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, Oregon, or anywhere else - living or dead - Because by this action the Cherokee Nation has declared that Black people are under siege.

This is not something that you have philosophical debates about. It’s not even something that you sit back and wait for the White House to take a stand on, even though they are definitely taking note of this debacle - this is about who and what we are in the 21st Century.

There was a phrase that appeared at the end of a movie that said: “If No One Else Will Save You, Save Yourself!“ We have to be the heroes and the freedom we are looking for. Another saying from Africa says: “If the people will lead, the leaders will follow.“ Well WE are those people. We are the people who have to stand up for ourselves.

Maybe we need to be about riding in on Oklahoma and giving the Cherokees a first hand knowledge of what it looks like when a Million Black (and Black Indian) people ride down on their behinds. Maybe the march should not be on Washington, or on DC. Maybe the next Million People March needs to be on Oklahoma - Tallequah.

Black and Black Indian Oklahomans need to open up a can of "Wisconsin" on their bogus legislators who sit on their haunches and do nothing (smile up their sleeves as they watch this mess evolve).

According to AChoctaw1866: “Freedmen People feel that continued disrespect and overt intolerance of our humanity will no longer be endured quietly, now or in the future and Black Indians will not back down, even if it appears that we only have a slingshot or hatchet with which to wage an effective campaign. One must not forget that we are imbued with a self-determined propensity to protect rights encoded in our melanated DNA. Freedmen have elicited a response from the White House upon the illegal disenfranchisement of Freedmen People, Deprivation of Nationality, Citizenship and denial of access to their Treaty Mandated Rights.”

She further states: “Yet, it is also indicative of defeat, and a major failure by the White House to reach beyond a reluctant tight-fisted grudging nod to a mere 2,800 Black Cherokees, to clarify the status and treatment of all other Ethnic Indians Freedmen and Tribal Peoples in North America also having African Ancestry numbering in the several hundred thousands of eligible disenfranchised descendants (i.e., Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole Negro Scouts, Creek Freedmen, Mississippi Choctaw, and others) treated the same way in today‘s Indian Country, while their stories have been buried under attention paid only to the plight of Cherokee Freedmen.”

It’s time to bring the Indian Reorganization Act into the 21st Century. Now. Forget about the “cherry picking” of issues one at a time so as to not disturb or upset the so-called nation. Let’s pull the scab off and let the healing begin! It’s time to implement the requests by collective Freedmen People to invoke, implement or proclaim a Presidential or Congressional Enactment making it mandatory for all Tribal Nations and the U.S. Government to respect and/or adhere to the Treaty Rights of all the aforementioned Peoples, or face the legal consequences, immediately if not sooner! Apparently when the Civil Rights act was passed, they forgot to “enforce them within the Tribal Nation and Federal Laws as codified in the Indian Reorganization Act.”

The bottom line is that having failed to do it right the first time around has exacerbated the situation. Many of the issues originally handled by the previous organization was turned over to a hostile entity called the US Court of Claims. It appears that it is amusing to pit people of different cultures against each other and play the game of “keep away” while they try to work things out.

According to the AChoctaw1866, “{since} claims are met with challenges that the U.S. Court of Claims are not compelled to hear such claims, then the hurdle that Freedmen actions are time-barred, after which comes the extreme burden of overcoming Tribal Nation and U.S. Sovereignty. None are charitable enough to waive Sovereign Rights to weigh Freedmen Rights fairly, depriving them of much deserved Due Process. This is why Freedmen Tribes must stand on their own acumen as Nations to challenge other Sovereigns in Nation to Nation actions.” (also known as "Catch 22).

At this point I am only paraphrasing this article; to read it in its entirety check out BlackList.net, or http://newsone.com/nation/associatedpress3/cherokee-nation-will-restore-rights-for-black-cherokees/. My main purpose is pulling out certain salient points is to make you aware that the tactics of Divide and Conquer are being used by the mainstream to put two under served cultures against each other. The oppressed oppressing another oppressed with the assistance of the oppressor (under the guise of trying to “help” is nothing new. Whole tribal wars have been developed by these very means. And while these two entities are fighting each other, the catalyst in the middle walks off with the whole pie.

Sound familiar? Recognize a pattern? And unfortunately, showing their true colors and snake heart for being all too willing to serve as the pawns in this mess are my Cherokee brothers and sisters, who have now shown themselves to be as dumb and gullible as the tribe who paid the Republican representative $7million to introduce them to people who would give them lucrative contracts, only to end up bankrupt.

You and I both know that our ancestors will trouble your dreams and shorten your lives upon this earth if you continue with this line of action. And they will likewise do the same to us if we don’t stand together against you for such a stupid, foolish, selfish, ignorant, destructive act. Go look in the mirror at your tongue and tell me the shape!

Stay Blessed &
Gloria Dulan-Wilson

SUPPORT THE Black Indians United Legal Defense and Education Fund

1 comment:

  1. That was a most informative read. Thanks!


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