Lumbee Indians seek end to a century of questions about identity

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Tri-Racial Isolates, United States on 2016-04-13 00:02Z by Steven

Lumbee Indians seek end to a century of questions about identity

The Baltimore Sun
Baltimore, Maryland
1993-10-12

Richard O’Mara, Staff Writer

Proud people from North Carolina find a home in Baltimore

Shirley Jeffrey, an East Baltimore resident, remembers the painful moment five years ago when two Sioux Indians told her that “Lumbees aren’t really Indians.”

Jimmy Hunt recalls a similar experience as an Army recruit when a sergeant asked the American Indians in the group to stand up. “There were two others besides myself,” he says. “Later they said I wasn’t an Indian because I was a Lumbee.”

Not really Indians? How could this be said of the largest American Indian group east of the Mississippi? The ninth-largest in the United States, with nearly 50,000 members, according to the Bureau of the Census. About 4,300 of them are in Maryland.

The question of identity has troubled the Lumbees for more than a century, but it may be resolved this year if Congress approves a bill introduced by Rep. Charles Rose III, D-N.C., to extend full recognition to the tribe.

It’s not that Mrs. Jeffrey is uncertain about who she is. Nor is Mr. Hunt…

Read the entire article here.

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She said her racial heritage was the “No.1 issue” when she launched her first political campaign in 2006 — repeatedly being asked by voters to “clarify” her racial identity.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2014-01-09 22:57Z by Steven

Ivey, 51, is the daughter of a white woman who was raised by her black father and stepmother. She said her racial heritage was the “No.1 issue” when she launched her first political campaign in 2006 — repeatedly being asked by voters to “clarify” her racial identity.

Erin Cox, “Ivey describes herself as ‘Trayvon Martin’s mom’,” The Baltimore Sun, (October 14, 2013). http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2013-10-14/news/bs-md-gansler-ivey-20131014_1_running-mate-doug-gansler-trayvon-martin.

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Marylander of the Year: Benjamin Todd Jealous [Editorial]

Posted in Articles, Biography, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2013-12-30 02:56Z by Steven

Marylander of the Year: Benjamin Todd Jealous [Editorial]

The Baltimore Sun
2013-12-28

Our view: Jealous leaves the NAACP a revitalized and relevant institution that is at the forefront of the social justice struggles of our time

In the spring of 2008, as the prospect that America would elect its first black president became more and more likely, the organization that did as much as any to make that watershed possible had fallen on hard times. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, America’s oldest and best known civil rights group, was in disarray. It’s last president and CEO had abruptly quit, and it had laid off half of its staff to balance the books. Its membership and relevance in what many were heralding as a post-racial America seemed destined to wane, and one of the defining institutions of the 20th century had no sure place in the 21st.

The answer to that challenge was an unlikely one: Benjamin Todd Jealous, a 35-year-old, bi-racial foundation president from California who was born a decade after the civil rights movement’s greatest triumphs. To call his selection controversial would be an understatement. Some saw it not just as risky but as a repudiation of a century of sacrifice by the NAACP’s members.

Five years later, he is leaving the NAACP a changed institution. Its finances are stabilized, its membership is up, its social media presence is robust and its role in American public life is clear and forceful. Mr. Jealous brought energy, vision and focus to an organization in need of all three and showed a new generation that the pursuit of social justice remains a vital cause in these and any times. And if we may be parochial for a moment, he kept its headquarters in Baltimore. We are proud to name him The Baltimore Sun’s 2013 Marylander of the Year…

Read the entire editorial here.

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Ivey describes herself as ‘Trayvon Martin’s mom’

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Women on 2013-12-05 20:45Z by Steven

Ivey describes herself as ‘Trayvon Martin’s mom’

The Baltimore Sun
2013-10-14

Erin Cox


(Lloyd Fox / Baltimore Sun)

Gansler’s running mate is first African-American woman to seek lieutenant governor post

After Del. Jolene Ivey told a Baltimore crowd she hopes to be Maryland’s first African-American female lieutenant governor, she discussed what it means to be a fair-skinned black woman whose racial heritage is often questioned.

Ivey, 51, is the daughter of a white woman who was raised by her black father and stepmother. She said her racial heritage was the “No.1 issue” when she launched her first political campaign in 2006 — repeatedly being asked by voters to “clarify” her racial identity.

“As much as I’d like to believe that we’re in a post-racial country, we’re not,” Ivey said during an interview after Democrat Douglas F. Gansler announced her as his running mate in the 2014 race for governor.

The Prince George’s County lawmaker emphasized her roles as a black woman and mother of five boys. “I am Trayvon Martin’s mom,” she said…

Read the entire article here.

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Banneker’s family tree still bears rich fruit

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, United States on 2012-09-01 01:15Z by Steven

Banneker’s family tree still bears rich fruit

The Baltimore Sun
2006-06-12

Gregory Kane

And so Molly Welsh, an Englishwoman sentenced to indentured servitude in 17th-century Maryland, wed an African slave named Bannaka. And they begat four daughters, one of whom was named Mary.

And Mary wed a slave named Robert, who took her last name, which, by the time of their nuptials, had become Bannaky. Mary and Robert begat one son and three daughters. One of the daughters, Jemima, wed Samuel D. Lett. From that union came eight children, including a son named Aquilla.

“Aquilla Lett eventually moved to Ohio,” Gwen Marable said Saturday afternoon. A number of generations later, “that’s how I came to be born in Ohio,” she said. Marable eventually found her way to Maryland. She may be in these parts for good.

“The project has really kept me here,” Marable said.

That project would be the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum in Baltimore County. That son Mary and Robert Bannaky had was none other than Benjamin Banneker—the farmer, astronomer, mathematician, surveyor and publisher—whose farm once sat on the site where the park is now located. Marable described herself as a collateral descendant of Banneker, not a direct descendant…

…”It’s been said that she married Bannaka to keep him from running off,” said Cole Wiggins, a board member of the Friends of the Banneker Historical Park and Museum. “But don’t quote me on that. It’s never been proved.”

Actually, wisecracking husbands might say that Welsh’s marrying Bannaka might have been the sure way to make him run off. What may be closer to the truth is that marriages between white, female indentured servants and black men—whether slave or “free men of color”—could have been quite common at the time…

Read the entire article here.

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