Wednesday, May 12, 2021

2001 Documentary Film About Black Americans Who Have Native American Ancestry (with selected comments)

TheeSymphony'sCulture Channel, May 21, 2020

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. This documentary-film "Black Indians: An American Story" is not for any personal financial profit or gain to TheeSymphony'sCulture Channel, but instead only for educational purposes and cultural research. "Black Indians: An American Story" brings to light a forgotten part of America's past - the cultural and racial fusion of Native and African Americans. Narrated by James Earl Jones, produced and directed the awarding winning Native American production company, Rich-Heape Films, this presentation explores what brought the two groups together, what drove them apart, and the challenges that they face today. From the Atlantic Seaboard to the Western Plains, family memories and historical highlights reveal the indelible mark of this unique ancestry, and its continuing influence throughout the generations. Narrated by James Earl Jones Directed by, Chip Richie RICH HEAPE FILMS, INC. Note: This documentary-film (Black Indians: An American Story) was originally produced in 2001 ... later released on dvd in 2004.,,, **** Edited by Azizi Powell This pancocojams post provides some information about the Native American produced 2001 documentary film "Black Indians: An American Story". A YouTube video of that complete film is embedded in this post along with selected comments from the discussion thread of that video. The content of this post is presented for historical, socio-cultural, and educational purposes. All copyrights remain with their owners. Thanks to Rich-Heape Films for producing this documentary film, thanks to African American actor James Earl Jones for narrating this film, and thanks to all those who were associated with that film. Thanks to all those who are quoted in this pancocojams post and thanks to the publisher of this video on YouTube.


(with numbers added for referencing purposes only) 

"@5:00 of this video the man said Christopher Columbus invaded America and he was put out class sounds very familiar. The same thing happened to me in high school. Black kids have been "psychologically abused" by the American education system for along time in this country."

M J, 2020
"What a wonderful documentary.   I was not aware at all about most of this."

3. Arlene Muhammad, 2021
"There's a book xalled "Black Indians" by William Loren Katz."

4. jashane stone, 2020
"My grandmother was of Siksikaitsitapi or Blackfoot Confederacy and people always confuse me for latino or mixed.

Didn't help that some my cousins, tias aka titi's and tios were Puerto Ricans in The Bronx. Lml 💪🏾💯"

5. Christopher Robertson, 2020
"I am a Black and White “Indian” #838 of the Narragansett tribe.  My card has expired, but I haven’t.  After I get vaccinated I will update."

Teressa Cooks, 2020
"I grew up in the 70's when two side-braids with a headband were in style.  One day a teacher told me, "You look like an Indian (Native American) Princess"!  Years later in my 20's my mother told me my Grandfather had died and she was going to the VA to view the body.  It was then that she told me my Grandfather was Choctaw!  Well, THAT explained a lot...such as our hair texture, which seemed at odds with our dark (very dark) skin.  Kids at school would ask if I were "mixed" because of my hair.  Naturally, I said I was not. Imagine my shock when I found out I was😮!  Why didn't my mother ever tell me?  Even when I mention the remark from my teacher she said nothing.  I don't understand why parents keep so much from their kids.  So many skeletons in people's closets regarding their children's birth, lineage, and paternity. 😔"

Reve NOrthrup, 2020
"My grandma told me that is how our mixture happened because the slaves ran away to the Natives. Choctaw proud"

8. Gerry Houska, 2020
"As a parent of biracial Australians, I found your documentary most interesting and informative.

Racism is so stupid, as well as evil."

Steph Allan, 2020
"I was partially raised by the Best Auntie Ever..I’m Indigenous Native American and she had the same mother my mom had.  Her father was black but she definitely leaned toward our Indigenous side and she carried on the oral history of the three Tribes of  my grandmother who was documented 3/4 blood degree.  She researched every document that related to our family.   I sincerely love and miss my beautiful Aunt as she passed last year.   I am happy to say I have the prettiest and smart niece who also has a black father and  I’m going to ensure she’s aware of her Indigenous side."

Teresa, 2020
"I am so glad that I watched this. I grew up in the North East during the early 60s/70s, and my father was Mexican/Blackfoot Indian. My mom was half Choctaw&black/Polish&German. Can anyone say mutt? I had long dark hair and copper colored skin. People would always say "What are you? What are you?" like I was some sort of circus freak. I wasn't black enough for the blacks or white enough for the whites etc When I was younger this used to really upset me. Now, I am very proud of being unique and I embrace every part the entire racial blend that I am! This show made me glad that it affirmed the positivity of accepting every part of yourself. You don't have to be what society wants you to be. BE YOURSELF!!"

11. Cynthia Richter, 2020
"Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all thought of everyone as human beings!"

12. Girma Mogus, 2020
"But that will make us human!!"

13. derrell920, 2020
"Wouldn’t it be wonderful if racism and white supremacy didn’t contribute to the issues of the world"

14, Evanique, 2020
"I think it would be great if everyone could see that we are all spiritual beings before anything else."

15. Samuel Reed, 2020
"What part of this movie says anything differently?"

16. Rae Min-Laan McNeil, 2020
"White people made up the races.....tell them to treat others like human beings."

17. Miya Adams, 2020
"White people don’t like that. They need to feel superior."

18. Karen Nicholls, 2020
"Brilliantly put. Unfortunately, human nature for political and societal reasons prefers labelling human"

19. drmayesmt, 2020
"It was only when the mixture was with African ancestry. There didn't seem to be the same narrative for the Native and White mix."

Oracle Of The Ether, 2020
"So much of this is my story growing up saying I'm Indian & told by other's I was African, this is heartbreaking"

21. Goldie Media, 2020
"Here in 2020, love it, I'm mixed from Cape Town. Please Google to learn about my mix too it's pretty crazy. Google"Cape Coloured" mixed group  from Cape Town. The Cape of Goodhope. The racial drama here is the same as in America"

22. Fannie M, 2020
"History wasn't written correctly. I'm glad that I was able to be told by fore parents of my dark skin Indian/Irish heritage. You look at me and you would say African American. America' History not all true as heritage is concerned."

Brandy Quick, 2020
"I'm proud to say a decendant of black Cherokee/ Seminole indian tribe and decendent of the trans Atlantic slave trade."

24. Kudjoe Adkins-Battle, 2020
"38:00 that is not the Afrocentric perspective."
This comment refers to the person interviewed indicating that afrocentric Black Americans don't recognize the mixed racial ancestry of Black Americans and don't consider that mixed racial ancestry with the same level of respect that they hold Black African ancestry.

As an African American who considers myself to be afrocentric I agree with Kudjoe Adkins-Battle that that commenter doesn't reflect what Afrocentric perspective means.

Here's a definition of  "afrocentricity" that I agree with from 
"whose mainly African American adherents regard themselves and all other Blacks as syncretic Africans and believe that their worldview should positively reflect traditional African values. The terms Afrocentrism, Afrocology, and Afrocentricity were coined in the 1980s by the African American scholar and activist Molefi Asante"
Here's a definition of "syncretic" from
"1. Reconciliation or fusion of differing systems of belief, as in philosophy or religion, especially when success is partial or the result is heterogeneous.

2. Linguistics The merging of two or more originally different inflectional forms."

Denis jeličić, 2020
"Some black people were already in America before columbus"

26. Arlene Muhammad, 2020
"  "It's hard to get rid of ones self hate in the internalized racism that we have."  Here in America!"

LakeErieOH, 2020
"what i never hear on these shows is the fact that Native Americans hiding on plantations from the Trail of Tears were listed on the slave census lists as "Mulatoo Fugative from the State"; my gr-gr-gr-grandfather."

28. vulcan1429, 2020
"Black people hate being drop of ANYTHING else and they call themselves that....what ever it is!!"

29. Angel Sanders, 2021
"I hate when people try to tell you what you are based on how you look. It’s your culture and life experience thanksgiving makes you what you are much more than appearance. I spent from experience.

Right. Most people don’t think Indians still exist. I offered to show a little girl my tribal card and she seriously thought I was joking."

30. Rae Min-Laan McNeil, 2021

Funkdafied 89, 2021 
"What’s upsetting is how a lot of Black Natives are STILL fighting to be recognized and accepted on a lot of Reservations such as the Choctaw, Cherokee, and Chickasaw to name a select few, but these reservations act like we’re not Indian enough and want us PROVE ourselves, yet they’ll accept a Blue eyed blonde or brunette white individual who claim to have a “Cherokee grandmother” with open arms!!! The hypocrisy is still real in 2020!🙄"

SuperNova, 2021
"African Americans just don’t want to be what they are .. just plain ole African American .. everybody and they momma says “my grandmother was full blooded Cherokee ... meanwhile they look like they come from Sudan.. wtf ... just stop."

 anibal almodovar, 2021
"This is part of our American history which should be taught in schools today."

34. Lena LawKoroi, 2021
"Native Fijian myself but I found this absolutely extraordinary..knew nothing about this and commend the Producers for coming up with this vital audio-visual historical print for the country..Thankyou, thoroughly interesting and educational"

35. Penny Bennett, 2021
"My grandmother was a black indian from Canada, cree indian, she moved to la. Married a white man, my mother looked more white than Indian"

36. SuperNova, 2021
"That jermaine Jackson looking guy IS NOT Light skinned. Why does he keep saying that l.. who the hell mistook him for light skin .. I know a lot of brown abs dark skin people who swear up and down they are light... NO YOU ARE NOT!!! Your delusional."

37. Seeking Pathways, 2021
"the dude in the purple suit reminds of chappelle's character bigsby...because he look like a very  brown indian, nothing is light about him. he keeps saying im so light, okay, whatever."

38. Jiji Solomon, 2021
"I don't know why this one man keeps saying that he is light skinned. I wonder does he know there are 100% DNA Africans south of the Sahara that are lighter than he is and Native Americans in Peru who are darker than he is. SMH.

39. Karen HL, 2021
"With all due respect, it is sad how easily we melinated people of various origins can dismiss another person's actual life experience based on our own perceptions. 

I don't know him.  Growing up, he may very well have been the light skinned one, with the straight hair, with the thin nose, etc. in his family or area or school and most importantly may have been treated like an anomaly because of it.   If that was HIS life experience and he was brave enough to share it, who are we to judge whether he is light enough to call himself light skinned.  Everything is relative.

I thank them all for their contributions to that documentary.   Every minute of it was valuable information that I never knew."

40. Ave Dee, 2021
"Ask about the New Orleans Indians."

41. Chris Lupe, 2021
"I wish people would stop calling native Americans indians. Indians come from India!"

42. Lexine Jackson, 2021
"I was told by a black woman the only races that matter are blacks and whites I was explaining to her my Native heritage. She said no one will ever accept you and she laughed in my face. So sad that blacks are so ignorant towards Native Americans that women was displaying racism which was taught by the white race. I am too light to be black and too exotic  to be white this world is so sadistic and sad."

43. James Earl Cash, 2021
"Many of those so called 'Africans' were already in the Americas

before Columbus and other Europeans arrived according to the

french Explorer Giovanni Da Verrazano in his writings describing

some of the people he encountered as being 'not unlike Ethiopians'.

Not unlike means like thus the people he encountered looked like

what we would call 'Africans' today.  This narrative fails to point out

that just about all the continents on the planet were and are inhabited

by so called black people including places such as India and China. 

Many of the so called 'African Americans' more so resemble people

from the Polynesian Islands such as Papua New Guinea than they

do people from Africa.  Those who are mixed with so called whites

do not look like Africans from Africa who are mixed with so called

whites even if it's generational.  This does not take away from what

is being said in this video regarding indigenous peoples blending in

with those so called Africans that were brought to the Americas

but it fails to point out that those slaves were not only mixed with

straight haired so called Indians but were also mixed up with so

called Black Aboriginals.  Many so called Indians and Black

American Aboriginals were shipped out to other countries as well

and there is little to no records as to where those people were

shipped to?  what happened to them, how many of them died? 

How many of them lived and blended in with the people who's lands

they were brought to?  The Issue of American slavery is one sided

and not well rounded but that is done for a political reason which is

what this video is about and that is about American racial politics

it's not about presenting the full picture its about manipulating

emotions and perceptions as a means of keeping people divided

for a particular political goal that benefits the manipulators.

Taylor Taylor, 2021
"You can be a dark skinned person with a different texture of hair and different facial features and also not fit in with African Americans or whites. It’s frustrating for us too."

45. SuperNova, 2021
"African Americans just don’t want to be what they are .. just plain ole African American .. everybody and they momma says “my grandmother was full blooded Cherokee ... meanwhile they look like they come from Sudan.. wtf ... just stop."

46. LakeErieOH, 2021
"at 25:11, yes, the language was not handed down, nor interpreted past my gr-grandmother, but the history of  speaking in Choctaw was handed down; at least i know my language was heard spoken by my ancestors and older relatives.  my gr-uncle would ask our grandfather (to him, grandfather, to me, gr-gr grandfather) what he said when talking to the other Choctaws there, and he'd be told to go and play; "he would talk that talk and i couldn't understand him.  he'd talk it to his Choctaw friends that were there.  i'd ask him, grandad, what did you say? he'd tell me to go along and play".  others revealed to me how english was his 2nd language.  older cousins would lovingly poke fun at his accent, he could barely say english words right."

47. LakeErieOH, 2021
"at 28:30 yes, the effort to erase the people already here was for real, nothing light, and at 26:00-28:00 yes, i have helped restore what was almost lost, my Choctaw heritage.  family tree with slave census tracts, census tracts, photos, mathcing testimony/family-friends-history, dna strands on the ancestry website, and i practice my Choctaw language"

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