A Tale of Two Seminole Counties

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2013-08-14 04:43Z by Steven

A Tale of Two Seminole Counties

Indian Voices
August 2013
page 7

Phil Fixico

Some coincidences can’t be ignored, like February the 26th, in both Florida’s and Oklahoma’s Seminole Counties. What does this date and these counties have in common. Trayvon Martin was killed on February 26th, 2012, in Seminole County, Florida. He was born on Feb. 5th, 1995, not in Seminole County, but that, is where his young life would tragically be ended.

My grandfather Pompey Bruner Fixico, on Feb. 14th, 1894, a hundred and one years before Trayvon’s birth, was born in Seminole County, Oklahoma. Eighty-seven years before Trayvon Martin’s death at the hands of an armed killer, who felt entitled to take Trayvon’s life, a similar scenario would end Pompey Bruner Fixico’s life on Feb. 26th, 1925, by someone else, who also didn’t hesitate. Pompey was a good deal older than Trayvon, he was 31 yrs. old and a WW1 Vet who had served his country in France during the War. He left a wife and four children, all younger than Trayvon’s 17 years, who by many, would be considered a child in a young man’s body. Pompey’s death took place, not far from the site of the “worst racial violence in American History”, “The Tulsa Race Riot”. The Riot had occurred 4 years earlier in 1921. Pompey Bruner’s (his father was Caesar Bruner) Draft Registration Card lists, his place of employment, in 1917, as the Brady Hotel, in Tulsa, Ok. It was owned by Mr. Tate Brady, the Grand Wizard of Oklahoma’s Ku Klux Klan, in that area. Grand Wizard Brady was reported to have had a hand in the, “Tulsa Race Riot”…

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Blacks and Native Americans have deep ties

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Biography, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Slavery, United States on 2011-01-23 20:04Z by Steven

Blacks and Native Americans have deep ties

Our Weekly: Our Truth, Our Voice
Los Angeles, California

Manny Otiko, Our Weekly Contributor

November is Native Heritage month

There is an old joke in the Black community about women attributing long hair to having “Indian blood” in their family. But like all jokes, there is an element of truth in this statement. There are deep ties between Native Americans, America’s first residents, and Black Americans, America’s first sizable minority group.

Los Angeles resident Phil Wilkes Fixico claims both Native American and African American roots on both sides of his family. Fixico, a performance artist and activist for Black Indian culture, says that he first started exploring his genealogy, when he got into his 50s.

Fixico said he has been on an 11-year journey to identify with his Native American roots. This has included reaching out to relatives in Oklahoma, producing a DVD about the Black-Indian experience and doing presentations about Native American culture around Los Angeles…

…Fixico said that he grew up a troubled youth, who was in an out of the juvenile system. After a stint in a correctional institution, he finally turned his life around. He received help from people of all races to do this.

Fixico attributes much of his problems to an identity crisis caused by lack of knowledge about his history. At 52, he decided to start investigating his background. He knew his mother, who raised him alone, was of Creek, White and African descent, but he later learned that his biological father was also part Seminole.

Fixico discovered that his ancestors were Seminole Maroons, slaves who opted to escape captivity and form alliances with the Seminole Indians in Florida

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Phil Wilkes Fixico — a True Native Son

Posted in Articles, Biography, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2011-01-23 19:08Z by Steven

Phil Wilkes Fixico — a True Native Son

L. A. Watts Times

Darlene Donloe, Contributing Writer

Phil Wilkes Fixico’s life is more dramatic than virtually any soap opera.

It took him about 52 years to find out who he was after growing up in what he calls a “web of lies.”

His intriguing story is part of the Smithsonian Institution’s “IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas,” a book and exhibit that will tour the country for five years and make its Los Angeles debut at the California African American Museum, tentatively in March 2011. The book speaks to the challenges and triumphs of dual African American and Native American heritage.

A “home-grown” kid who grew up in the Nickerson Gardens housing project in Watts, Fixico, 62, came up hard. His mother not only hid the identity of his biological father, but as a kid he was in and out of four juvenile institutions, experienced rejection, used drugs, committed crimes and witnessed domestic violence, said Fixico, who lives in Inglewood.

Fixico, a member of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Buffalo Soldiers 9th and 10th Horse Cavalry, and the “Seminole Negro Indian Scouts,” said he “grew up as a troubled youth because I kept bumping into the truth and half-truth.

“I knew there was more than what I was being told, but I didn’t know what it was. I certainly didn’t know it was this.”

What he discovered 10 years ago rocked his core: He is a “SeminoleMaroon descendant.” He now describes it as an “identity crisis.”

By appearance, Fixico looks like a black man to some, but he doesn’t think of himself that way; instead, he describes himself as a “Seminole-Maroon descendant.”…

…To understand why he calls himself a Seminole-Maroon descendant is a long story that he pieced together through research.

“I don’t call myself black,” said Fixico, who is one-eighth Seminole Indian, one-fourth Cherokee Freedman, one-fourth Seminole Freedman, one-fourth mulatto and one-eighth Creek Freedman, according to a Smithsonian researcher. “The reason I don’t say black is because that doesn’t really describe the nuances of who I am. I’m a shade of black, a flavor of black.

“When someone asks, ‘Are you black?’ it gives me pause. I can’t take the same credit as someone coming out of Africa who is pure. I can’t take their same degree of blackness.”

To be clear, Fixico doesn’t have a problem with being called black or with black people.

“It’s not that I don’t want to be black,” said Fixico, who explained his mother was African and Cherokee and his father African and Seminole. “I’ve been the product of a mixture. The one-drop rule says I’m black as anybody.

“Under America’s concept of black, I’m black. But when I look at it as my own sense of self, I’m a flavor of black.”…

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Mixed Race in the Seminole Nation

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Biography, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2011-01-23 18:45Z by Steven

Mixed Race in the Seminole Nation

Volume 58, Number 1 (Winter 2011)
pages 113-141
DOI: 10.1215/00141801-2010-066

Kevin Mulroy, Associate University Librarian
University of California, Los Angeles

Phil Wilkes Fixico

This is a story of two hidden identities. It focuses on the family history of Phil Wilkes Fixico (aka Philip Vincent Wilkes and Pompey Bruner Fixico), a contemporary Seminole maroon descendant of mixed race who lives in Los Angeles. Phil is one-eighth Seminole Indian, one-quarter Seminole freedman, one-eighth Creek freedman, one-quarter Cherokee-freedman, and one-quarter African-American-white. His family history records that his paternal grandfather was the offspring of a Seminole Indian woman and a Seminole freedman, but that this “intermarriage” was kept secret from the Dawes Commission and the boy was enrolled as a “fullblood” Indian. This one union and the subsequent history of the family tell us a great deal about relations between Seminoles and freedmen in the Indian Territory and Oklahoma and about status and identity issues among individuals of mixed race within American society. With tragic irony, Phil’s parents also hid the identity of his biological father, echoing the story of his grandfather. Sensing family secrets and lies, young Phil experienced an identity crisis. Eventually discovering his father’s identity and his family history, Phil turned his life around. He has embraced his mixed-race heritage, connected with the Seminole maroon communities in Oklahoma, Texas, and Mexico, and become a creative and energetic tribal historian.

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