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Africana Archives: Excerpts
African/Native American

African/Native American

Here we present works that document the alliance of indigenous peoples of the Americas, West Indies and Brazil with enslaved Africans. In these alliances, dissimilar people forged a bond based on what they had in common – the desire to live free of oppression. They combined their talents, skills and bravery to create new social and cultural entities throughout the Diaspora.

Slavery in Florida: Territorial Days to Emancipation

© 2000, by Larry Eugene Rivers. Gainesville: University Press of Florida

Excerpt: Chapter 10:
Interaction Between Blacks and Indians

Before the United States flag ever flew over Florida, blacks had already involved themselves in multileveled and long-lasting relationships with its resident population of Native Americans. By 1821 the Spanish colony had been renowned for generations as a haven for fugitive slaves – or “maroons,” as they came to be called – and as a nightmare for slaveholders to the north. Unlike the situation that would develop in Texas, a territory otherwise similar in many ways, Florida’s Indians generally acted as friends and allies of blacks until about 1838. Nonetheless, the relationship that developed between blacks and Seminoles, Creeks, and Mikasukis ultimately played a prominent role in the expulsion of most Native Americans and maroons from Florida. This chapter concentrates on the sometimes crucially important interaction of blacks and Indians, with particular emphasis on the Seminoles from 1821 to 1858.

In the triracial Florida world fugitive slaves and their descendants rested at the root of much of the impending conflict between whites and Indians, certainly the Seminoles. Runaways themselves from Alabama and Georgia, Seminoles were casualties of war spawned by the expanding colonial frontier. Gifted with a name that meant runaways, they occupied a situation similar to that of black runaways. Both blacks and Seminoles sought refuge from the intrusion and control of Europeans, especially the British and Anglo-Americans. Over time blacks and Seminoles realized that they needed each other, although for reasons unique to each group. The Seminoles required blacks to help them keep their lands, and blacks allied with the Seminoles to enable them to preserve their freedom. MORE

Tales of Angola: Free Blacks, Red Stick Creeks, and International Intrigue in Spanish Southwest Florida, 1812-1821. From Go Sound the Trumpet: Selections in Florida's African American History,

© 2005, by Canter Brown, Jr., Editor. University of Tampa Press

The lives of maroons and the presence of maroon communities in Florida have commanded the attention of serious writers since the mid-1800s; yet, our knowledge of the subject remains, at best and in important respects, incomplete. To the good, beginning with Joshua Giddings’s classic 1858 work The Exiles of Florida, the nation has enjoyed access to well-researched documentation regarding Florida’s free blacks and their participation in events of critical importance. MORE

Black Seminoles in the Bahamas

© 2002, Rosalyn Howard. Gainesville: University Press of Florida

Excerpt, Chapter 3:
The Promised Land: Andros, Bahamas

At the end of the First Seminole War, the United States annexed the former Spanish territory of Florida and Euroamericans migrated there in accelerated fashion. Their persistent encroachment upon former indigenous lands forced the Seminole Indians and Black Seminoles living there to retreat into marronage, taking refuge in the swamps and hammocks of southern Florida. They were being "driven from their homes and hunted as wild deer.” While the primary concern for the Seminoles was banishment from their homes and removal to Indian Territory in the West, the Black Seminoles feared recapture, which meant either return to enslavement or summary death. MORE

Preview These Recommended Titles at Google Book Search:

When Brer Rabbit Meets Coyote: African-Native American Literature by Jonathan Brennan

Blacks in the American West and Beyond - America, Canada, and Mexico: A Selectively Annotated Bibliography by George H. Junne

Multicultural American Literature: Comparative Black, Native, Latino/A and Asian American Fictions by A. Robert Lee

Read Excerpts from These Recommended Titles at

American Indian and African American People, Communities, and Interactions: An Annotated Bibliography by Lisa Bier

Africans and Native Americans: The Language of Race and the Evolution of Red-Black Peoples by Jack D. Forbes

African Americans and Native Americans in the Cherokee and Creek Nations, 1830s-1920s : Collision and Collusion (Studies in African American History and Culture) by Katja May

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