Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa Honors A West Coast Black Seminole Leader

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2012-01-31 02:50Z by Steven

Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa Honors A West Coast Black Seminole Leader

Indian Voices
January 2012
pages 7 & 11

Dr. Bruce Twyman

On October 28th, 2011 Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa honored the Native American community of Southern California by hosting the cities’ annual American Indian Heritage Month celebration at city hall. A noteworthy and historical addition to this year’s celebration was for the first time a Black Indian was invited. A representative of the Black Seminole, Phil Pompey Fixico attended the event. Webster’s Dictionary defines heritage as something transmitted by or acquired from a  predecessor. From the start of the European conquest and colonization of the Americas, there has been a symbiotic nexus between Black and Indian people. This nexus is variously reflected in culture, ancestry and law. Millions of Black Americans acknowledge this heritage. As a proud and active member of these millions, Fixico’s selection is apropos.

Black Americans awareness of their own personal Indian heritage ranges from precise knowledge to legendary rumors. Fixico’s knowledge is precise and has been documented in the Smithsonian Institution publication, Invisible-African Native American Lives in the Americas, and in The Journal of the American Society for Ethno-History. As a Black Seminole, Fixico is a member of a people with a 200 year documented successful resistance to slavery in North America.

Scholars and tribal members disagree to some extent about the precise origin of the Seminole people. Nonetheless the word Seminole has a genesis as a British corruption of the Spanish term Cimaron. Columbus referred to domesticated cattle which escaped from ranches as Cimarons; but, the term became fixed upon slaves who successfully resisted enslavement…

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