AAS 490: Special Topics in Black World Studies: Section 008: Race and “Black Indians”

AAS 490: Special Topics in Black World Studies: Section 008: Race and “Black Indians”

University of Michigan
Winter 2013
Theme Semester Courses

Tiya Miles, Professor of American Culture, Afroamerican and African Studies, and Native American Studies

This seven week mini course is a special winter 2013 offering for the LSA Theme Semester on Race. The course will introduce students to a range of issues and experiences related to the topic and identity category of “Black Indians.” Popularized in the 1980s by a book of the same title, the term “Black Indians” is often used to identify and describe people of mixed-race African American and Native American ancestry. It is also applied to people with strong bi-cultural connections across these groups who may or may not have Black and native “blood” ties. This class will explore and analyze three major aspects of our subject matter:

  1. historical contexts for the interactions of Africans, African Americans and Native Americans;
  2. personal experiences stemming from mixed race and bi-cultural Afro-Native identities;
  3. meanings and effects of “racial stories” that have been crafted and told about “Black Indians” over time.

Major themes and ideas that will emerge in our discussions include: indigeneity, European and U.S. colonialism, slavery, racial formation and racial hierarchy, mixed-race coupling and family making, tribal sovereignty, personal and community identities, and racial and cultural authenticity.

Textbooks/Other Materials

  • Confounding the Color Line, Author: Brooks, James F.
  • Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage, Author: written by William Loren Katz.
  • Crossing Waters, Crossing Worlds: the African diaspora in Indian country, Author: edited by Tiya Miles and Sharon P. Holland.
  • IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas, Author: general editor, Gabrielle Tayac.

For more information, click here.

Tags: ,