Sunday, October 31, 2010

History Culture Tradition...

A friend forwarded a link to this video and I was struck by a few things that spoke to me on so many levels. In the video there is a discussion on the importance of language to "Cherokee" culture and how this is something that the Cherokee's in this area of North Carolina are trying to preserve.

The video goes to great lengths to explain how the "European" influences and boarding schools became a detriment to the way of life and destruction of the Cherokee culture. These influences we see in abundance among the Cherokee Nation today.

Indian Pioneer Papers Lydia Keys Taylor # 12079

I reflect on the inconsistency of this sentiment when you look at the same "European" and "Native American" influences that destroyed the language and culture of African descendant people . Blacks enslaved among the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek (Muscogee) and Seminole Nations lost their culture and language also!

Right or wrong, the Native Americans concerns about history, culture and tradition ignores their complicity in the destruction of the same thing as it affected the blacks who lived among them.

Indian Pioneer Paper (Elizabeth Ross #13051 "Old African Joe")

How ironic, the issues being discussed in this video could be voiced by the Indian Territory Freedmen descendants. Many of the freedmen and their descendants were bi-lingual and for a period of time their culture was the culture of their enslaver. The fact that their/our mother-tongue was lost, is completely lost contemporary "citizens" of the Five Slave Holding Tribes.

When you consider the issue of boarding schools, it seems every tribe in the country has a story on boarding schools, but you hardly ever read about the story of how the Chickasaw nation flat out denied helping the children of their former slaves from receiving an education in the nation of their birth.

Senate Report 166 (50-1)

You know, if you stopped and thought about it for a moment, the Choctaw's and Chickasaw's were willing to forceably remove their former slaves to a land not of the former slaves choosing. Isn't this similar to the infamous "Trail of Tears" removal? Force people from the only land they knew and where their ancetor's were buried clearly something is wrong with this kind of behavior.

The Five Slave Holding Tribes became acculturated with European culture and language; they now attribute this for their loss of culture and tradition. It is clear the same can be said of what the tribes did to African and African-Natives who lived among them. Interesting, very interesting!

The former slaves in Indian Territory had to fight just to get a school for their children in the "nation of their birth." Among the leaders of the Five Slave Holding Tribes, their children had the luxury of attending some of the best schools in the nation at the time.

Indian Pioneer Papers Lydia Keys Taylor # 12059
 The Five Slave Holding Tribes today ignore the destruction of their culture, language and most importantly their history by not giving a full account on the institution of chattel slavery. If losing language is losing culture, what can we say about the losses of African and African-Native descendant people who lived in Indian Territory?

1 comment:

  1. As I said in my video, our ancestors lost TWICE on this earth. They lost their African language and culture, and in the 20th century, many lost their mother tongue which was the language of their enslavers---in "the only land they knew."

    Who weeps for them?