After Years of Searching, I Finally Found My Black Indian Community

The blood of two peoples runs in us, and we want everyone to know we are still here


Dropping off a book at the Hampton Public Library, I glance at the counter and see a licorice-red flyer that says, “Come Join the Weyanoke Association: African Americans Honoring Our American Indian Heritage.” I look around. Is someone playing a joke on me?

In August 2004, my daughter and I moved to Hampton, Virginia, for my job at a Historically Black College. Our first year was hard and lonely, and we desperately missed our communities back in Los Angeles and in the Los Padres National Forest.

“I hate it here,” Afiya said at least once a week as she tried to make friends in the ninth grade. I tried to placate her with the proverbial “give it time” talks, but I had moved her away from her friends at 14, just as she was about to start high school. We had many “I hate it here” fights, but the truth was I was having a hard time finding my people, too. I missed the African American, African-centered communities, and the American Indian groups that had become my family over the years. This flyer seemed to be a sign: Little did I know I was about to find a space where both sides of my heritage combined.

The Saturday I walk into the Hampton Library community room to see Black-looking people in American Indian regalia blows my mind. Black folks with their old black-and-white family photos with placards of who is what tribe. They know their tribes. They have handmade drums, dancing sticks, dream catchers: things they’ve made themselves. One man wears beaver pelts on his head and around his shoulders, and a loincloth. In the library.

“Hi, I’m Little Beaver,” he shakes my hand in welcome, and I try not to look down. Another woman, one of the lead singers, wears a beautiful multicolored African outfit. Others don Western clothing, jeans and jackets, with leather and beaded vests, earrings, and cowboy hats.[…]

Source: After Years of Searching, I Finally Found My Black Indian Community

About agogo22

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1 Response to After Years of Searching, I Finally Found My Black Indian Community

  1. That was very interesting reading. I have read countless books about the native Americans and “how we won the west”. fiction and history, and it seems to me that they did not care so much what colour a person had. If a person respected their ways and was a decent human being, they were accepted into the community. When there came more and more white people to America, the tension was rising, understandably so, but there were a lot of mixed people, black, white and Chinese (the railroad workers).

    I find it sad that the mixing of the colours is not accepted everywhere. All this business with calculating how much % this and much that is only separating people more. None of the “white” guys is really of one stock, they are all wild mixtures. We are what we are, and we are all just fine.

    Liked by 1 person

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