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Black Indians - A Hidden Heritage

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is January 18 in 2016. Today we are in the American long weekend that leads to that celebration. This is a special day for genealogists who are tracing relationship paths back through those people with some Native (Indigenous/Indian) heritage and may not know about the Black component of much of that Native heritage. Some of the "Indians" who captured "Whites" had some "Black" ancestors. If captured White children were integrated into Indian communities, married and had children by Native spouses with such ancestry, all of their descendants have Black ancestry as well as Native ancestry. To date there is a helpful Geni project, "Captured by Indians", at http://www.geni.com/projects/Captured-by-Indians/18623 which already (Jan. 16, 2016) has 85 profiles. There also are more specific discussions such as http://www.geni.com/discussions/152239?msg=1064706 . However, to date few genealogical researchers have traced back to Black ancestors of the Indians who did the capturing.

A leader in identifying this issue is the very important 1966 book by William Loren Katz - "Black Indians - A Hidden Heritage" . That book title is the title chosen for this Geni project. The paragraph on the back cover of Katz's book reads as follows:

"The first freedom paths taken by runaway slaves led to Native American villages, where black men and women found a red hand of friendship and an accepting culture. The offspring of Black-Indian marriages shaped the early days of the fur trade, added a new dimension to frontier diplomacy, and made a daring contribution to the fight for American liberty."

Another person who has used art to bring forward awareness about Black Indian heritage is Toni Scott whose contemporary works can be viewed online at http://toniscott.com/iweb/toniscott.com/HOME.html and http://www.studio-online.com/so/?p=6488 . For genealogists such literary and artistic works shed light on the fact that some Native people may not know about their potential Black heritage and some Blacks may not know about their possible Native heritage. Indeed some people of predominantly White heritage may not know about their possible Black heritage or their possible Native heritage with Black roots.

Those researchers who know of Black Indian heritage for persons they are researching are invited to post the profiles of those people at this project page.

Thanks to everyone who considers contributing information to this project. Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 2016..... and in future years.