The United States of Mestizo

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Philosophy, Social Science, United States on 2013-05-30 18:03Z by Steven

The United States of Mestizo

John F. Blair, Publisher
48 pages
4¼ x 5½
ebook ISBN: 978-1-60306-200-8

Ilan Stavans, Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture
Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts

This powerful manifesto attests to the fundamental changes the nation has undergone in the last half-century. Ilan Stavans meditates on the way the cross-fertilizing process that defined the Americas during the colonial period—the racial melding of Europeans and indigenous people—was a foretelling of the current miscegenation that is the most salient profile of America today. If, as W. E. B. DuBois once argued, the 20th century was defined by a color fracture, Stavans believes that the 21st will be shaped by the multicolor line that will make us all a sum of parts.

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Black Indian Slave Narratives

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Books, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2012-05-22 01:54Z by Steven

Black Indian Slave Narratives

John F. Blair, Publisher
200 pages
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-89587-298-2

Patrick Minges

Few people realize that Native Americans were enslaved right alongside the African Americans in this country. Fewer still realize that many Native Americans owned African Americans and Native Americans from other tribes. Recently, historians have determined that of the 2,193 interviews with former slaves that were collected by the Federal Writers’ Project, 12 percent contain some reference to the interviewees’ being related to or descended from Native Americans. In addition, many of the interviewees make references to their Native American owners. In Black Indian Slave Narratives, Patrick Minges offers the most absorbing of these firsthand testimonies about African American and Native American relationships in the 19th century.

The selections include an interview with Felix Lindsey, who was born in Kentucky of Mvskoke/African heritage and who served as one of the buffalo soldiers who rounded up Geronimo. Chaney Mack, whose father was a “full-blood African” from Liberia and whose mother was a “pure-blood Indian,” gives an in-depth look at both sides of her cultural heritage, including her mother’s visions based on the “night the stars fell” over Alabama. There are stories of Native Americans taken by “nigger stealers,” who found themselves placed on slave-auction blocks alongside their African counterparts.

The narratives in this collection provide insight into the lives of people who lived in complex and dynamically interconnected cultures. The interviews also offer historical details of capture and enslavement, life in the Old South and the Old West, Indian removal, and slavery in the Indian territory.

I wasn’t as dark as I am now, but kind of red-like, and when Geronimo saw me he said, “You ain’t no nigger, you’re an Indian.”

“My father may have been an Indian, but I’m a nigger because that’s the race of my mother, and the race I chose,” I said.

—From Felix Lindsey’s narrative

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