By Edith Billups
More recent evidence depicts how the relationships become more complex with the institution of slavery and the Indian Wars that pitted black soldiers against Indian tribes. While documents show the intermarriage of blacks and American Indians, African-Native slave narratives tell the stories of slaves held captive by American Indian tribes. Other times, white settlers held both American Indians and blacks captive.
However, according to Rex Ellis, associate director for cultural affairs for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and a co-collaborator with NMAI, “While there has been excellent scholarship on the subject, the story of African-Native people is one that has not been fully explored in a wide public forum, until this exhibition. It is a story that while painful at times, needs to be told.
“African-Native Americans are inextricably bound, and they no longer wish to hide. Whatever the consequences, they want people to know who they are.”
Below: Penny Gamble Williams and Thunder Williams.