(Photo: Radmilla Cody, Navajo Activist also of Black American ancestry, who is outspoken about all of her heritage)
This is a fact. Some American Indians have Black ancestry and even a Black appearance.
The U.S. government, which confers the gold standard of Indian recognition, reports that 968,718 people in the 2020 Census, reported some combination of Black and American Indian ancestry.
Yet, people with Indian and Black ancestries, or even a dual Black/Indian identity, have been denied the right to say so until recently.
The U.S. census has allowed Americans to check off multiple racial categories since 2000. In 2009, the National Museum of the American Indian (a federal institution) sponsored a traveling program indiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas. The Bureau of Indian Affairs has recognized several Indian Tribes who have significant members who might appear Black to others.
Genocide is a hate crime. The infamous Racial Integrity Laws of Virginia tried to eliminate Indian communities by reclassifying their members as “negro” or “colored.”
These laws could force families to break up or leave the state, and deny them their Tribal inheritance of land and government entitlements. This is why many Black families are poorer than they should be: their Indian legacy has been kept from them in concrete terms.
Federal and State governments have slowed their assault on misclassified Indians, but much venom still comes from Indians and Blacks who believe themselves as purebloods, and who see alleged mixed-bloods as a threat.
There is also much unwarranted hate coming from some Black Aboriginals against recognized Indians.
We all have a place here in America. Respect our different stories of how we got here. Stop the disrespect. Stop the name-calling.
STOP THE HATE