Crossing Waters, Crossing Worlds: The African Diaspora in Indian Country

Crossing Waters, Crossing Worlds: The African Diaspora in Indian Country

Duke University Press
392 pages
7 illustrations, 1 table

Edited by:

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

Sharon Patricia Holland, Associate Professor of English; African & African American Studies
Duke University

Contributors: Joy Harjo, Tiya Miles, Eugene B. Redmond, Jennifer DeVere Brody, Sharon Patricia Holland, Tiffany M. McKinney, David A. Y. O. Chang, Barbara Krauthamer, Melinda Micco, Celia E. Naylor-Ojurongbe, Deborah E. Kanter, Robert Warrior, Virginia Kennedy, Tamara Buffalo, Wendy S. Walters, Robert Keith Collins, Ku’ualoha Ho’omanawanui, Roberta J. Hill

Crossing Waters, Crossing Worlds explores the critically neglected intersection of Native and African American cultures. This interdisciplinary collection combines historical studies of the complex relations between blacks and Indians in Native communities with considerations and examples of various forms of cultural expression that have emerged from their intertwined histories. The contributors include scholars of African American and Native American studies, English, history, anthropology, law, and performance studies, as well as fiction writers, poets, and a visual artist.

Essays range from a close reading of the 1838 memoirs of a black and Native freewoman to an analysis of how Afro-Native intermarriage has impacted the identities and federal government classifications of certain New England Indian tribes. One contributor explores the aftermath of black slavery in the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations, highlighting issues of culture and citizenship. Another scrutinizes the controversy that followed the 1998 selection of a Miss Navajo Nation who had an African American father. A historian examines the status of Afro-Indians in colonial Mexico, and an ethnographer reflects on oral histories gathered from Afro-Choctaws. Crossing Waters, Crossing Worlds includes evocative readings of several of Toni Morrison’s novels, interpretations of plays by African American and First Nations playwrights, an original short story by Roberta J. Hill, and an interview with the Creek poet and musician Joy Harjo. The Native American scholar Robert Warrior develops a theoretical model for comparative work through an analysis of black and Native intellectual production. In his afterword, he reflects on the importance of the critical project advanced by this volume.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword: “Not Recognized by the Tribe” / Sharon P. Holland
  • Preface: Eating out of the Same Pot? / Tiya Miles
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Crossing Waters, Crossing Worlds / Tiya Miles and Sharon Patricia Holland
    1. A Harbor of Sense: An Interview with Joy Harjo / Eugene B. Redmond
    2. An/Other Case of New England Underwriting: Negotiating Race and Property in Memoirs of Elleanor Eldridge / Jennifer D. Brody and Sharon P. Holland
    3. Race and Federal Recognition in Native New England / Tiffany M. McKinney
    4. Where Will the Nation Be at Home? Race, Nationalisms, and Emigration Movements in the Creek Nation / David A. Y. O. Chang
    5. In Their “Native Country”: Freedpeople’s Understandings of Culture and Citizenship in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations / Barbara Krauthamer
    6. “Blood and Money”: The Case of Seminole Freedmen and Seminole Indians in Oklahoma / Melinda Micco
    7. “Playing Indian”? The Selection of Radmilla Cody as Miss Navajo Nation, 1997-1998 / Celia E. Naylor
    8. “Their Hair was Curly”: Afro-Mexicans in Indian Villages, Central Mexico, 1700-1820 / Deborah E. Kanter
    9. Lone Wolf and DuBois for a New Century: Intersections of Native American and African American Literatures / Robert Warrior
    10. Native Americans, African Americans, and the Space That Is America: Indian Presence in the Fiction of Toni Morrison / Virginia Kennedy
    11. Knowing All of My Names / Tamara Buffalo
    12. After the Death of the Last: Performance as History in Monique Mojica’s Princess Pocahontas and the Blue Spots / Wendy S. Walter
    13. Katimih o Sa Chata Kiyou (Why Am I Not Choctaw)? Race in the Lived Experiences of Two Black Choctaw Mixed-Bloods / Robert Keith Collins
    14. From Ocean to o-Shen: Reggae Rap, and Hip Hop in Hawai’i / Ku’ualoha Ho’omanawanui
    15. Heartbreak / Roberta J. Hill
  • Afterword / Robert Warrior
  • References
  • Contributors
  • Index
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