Black Indians Formed the First American Rainbow Coalition

Posted in Articles, History, Letters, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2016-01-23 23:06Z by Steven

Black Indians Formed the First American Rainbow Coalition

The New York Times

To the Editor:

Census Finds Many Claiming New Identity: Indian” (front-page, March 5) discusses whites who now assert their Indian blood, but fails to mention African-Americans who can claim longer and more legitimate ties to America’s Indian heritage. Many in the New York area are pursuing their biracial heritage through such organizations as the National Alliance of Native Americans and radio stations such as WLIB.

The African-native American connection came to light in 1503, when Gov. Nicolas de Ovando of Hispaniola complained to King Ferdinand that African slaves “fled among the Indians . . . and never could be captured.” His words announced our first rainbow coalition. Today almost every African-American family — from Frederick Douglass, Langston Hughes and Alex Haley to Alice Walker, Jesse Jackson and L. L. Cool J — has an Indian branch in its family tree. The statistics are much lower for white Americans…

William L. Katz
New York
March 6, 1991

The writer, a scholar in residence at N.Y.U., is the author of “Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage” (1986).

Read the entire letter here.

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Black Indians, Pompey Fixico w/ historian & author Dr. Katz

Posted in Audio, History, Interviews, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2013-06-14 01:04Z by Steven

Black Indians, Pompey Fixico w/ historian & author Dr. Katz

The Gist of Freedom
BlogTalk Radio

Leslie Gist, Host

Join The Gist of Freedom as we welcome Pompey Fixico and William L. Katz.  Pompey Fixico ancestors fought US slave-catchers and military units for 42 years in Florida.

Mr. Katz and Mr.Fixico will discuss the three Seminole wars, their goals courage and achievements as seen through his ancestors.

The legacy of  Wild Cat and John Horse will also be discussed as it relates to how they brilliantly led the Seminoles!

Mr. Katz’s book Black Indians has three chapters on this unknown American story. Their current leader, William Dub Warrior, has said:

Black Indians is not only one of the  most  thoroughly researched and accurate book on  the subject, it is he best written account I have  come across.”

William “Dub” Warrior, Chief of the John Horse Band, Texas and Old Mexico Seminoles

Listen to the episode here. Download the episode here.

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SML 63: Black Indians: Phil Wilkes Fixico, William Katz

Posted in Audio, History, Interviews, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2012-02-20 01:59Z by Steven

SML 63: Black Indians: Phil Wilkes Fixico, William Katz

Blogtalk Radio
SundayMorning Live


Phil Wilkes Fixico—African-Native American activist, is a Seminole Maroon Descendant, Creek and Cherokee Freedmen descendant, Honorary Heniha for the Wildcat/John Horse Band of the Texas Seminoles, California Semiroon Mico, Member of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Buffalo Soldiers 9th & 10th (horse) Cavalry and the Seminole Negro Indian Scouts of Brackettville, Texas.

William Katz is the author of “Black Indians” and over 40 books on history.  He specializes in the history of Black Indians and the relationships between the two groups.

Download the episode here. (02:00:14)

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The First American Freedom Fighter

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive on 2012-02-13 05:05Z by Steven

The First American Freedom Fighter

William Loren Katz

William Loren Katz

This February 2nd stands as the 500th anniversary of the death of Hatuey, an Indigenous American fighter for independence from colonialism not mentioned in the same breath as Patrick Henry, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson. However, Hatuey deserves recognition as their earliest ideological ancestor and great forerunner.
Little is known about Hatuey, a Taino Cacique [leader], not his date of birth, nor exactly when he first led his forces into battle. But key elements of his story have come down to us from Bishop Las Casas, the Dominican Priest, who became Spain’s “Defender of the Indians.” On February 2, 1512, Las Casas was in Cuba when Hatuey died at the hands of the European invaders.
Hatuey’s armed resistance began on the island of Hispaniola [today Haiti and the Dominican Republic] during the age of Columbus. It probably increased after 1502 when a fleet of 30 Spanish ships brought over the new Governor Nicolás de Ovando, hundreds of Spanish settlers and a number of enslaved Africans to pursue Spain’s search for gold.
But oppression rarely goes as planned. Before the year was over Governor Ovando complained to King Ferdinand that the enslaved Africans “fled among the Indians, taught them bad customs, and could not be captured.” The last four words reveal more than his problem with disobedient servants or his difficulty of retrieving runaways in a rainforest. Ovando is probably describing the formation of the first American rainbow coalition: Hatuey and his followers are greeting and embracing the runaway Africans as allies…

Read the entire essay here.

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Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2012-02-09 22:28Z by Steven

Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage

Atheneum Books for Young Readers (an imprint of Simon and Schuster)
January 2012
272 pages
Reissue Hardcover ISBN-10: 1442446366; ISBN-13: 9781442446366
Reissue Paperback ISBN-10: 1442446374; ISBN-13: 9781442446373

William Loren Katz

CBC/NCSS Notable Children’s Book in Social Studies

The compelling account of how two heritages united in their struggle to gain freedom and equality in America—now updated with new content!

The first paths to freedom taken by runaway slaves led to Native American villages. There, black men and women found acceptance and friendship among our country’s original inhabitants. Though they seldom appear in textbooks and movies, the children of Native- and African-American marriages helped shape the early days of the fur trade, added a new dimension to frontier diplomacy, and made a daring contribution to the fight for American liberty.

Since its original publication, William Loren Katz’s Black Indians has remained the definitive work on a long, arduous quest for freedom and equality. This new edition features a new cover and includes updated information about a neglected chapter in American history.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. If You Know I Have a History
  • 2. They Fled Amongst the Indians
  • 3. Between the Races We Cannot Dig Too Deep a Gulf
  • 4. The Finest Looking People I Have Ever Seen
  • 5. We Are All Living as in One House
  • 6. That You Know Who We Are
  • 7. He Was Our Go-Between
  • 8. Their Mixing is to be Prevented
  • 9. Like the Indians Themselves
  • 10. Blood So Largely Mingled
  • 11. The Finest Specimens of Mankind
  • 12. No Bars Can Hold Cherokee Bill
  • 13. The Greatest Sweat and Dirt Cowboy That Ever Lived
  • Acknowledgments
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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