Through out my life there has always been this question of wither “black” or African-American people are Indigenous to Turtle Island like Native Americans or if they in fact come from African slaves.
To me and this is just my personal option I think it’s possible if you look at it from the stand point as we all came from Africa and migrated out to different parts of the world then yes but other wise not necessarily. I do think that just Indigenous Native Americans who lived on Turtle Island before 1492 where here and then Africans came over from Africa as said in “They Came Before Columbus” by Ivan Van Sertima and traded and shared knowledge.
Now there are people today who don’t call themselves “African-American” due to them not having a connection back to Africa which I can understand. When you are so far removed from Africa and your ancestry there then it is easy for people to not really connect with that. Also the way modern African’s treat black Americans when they come here or we go there won’t necessarily make a person wanna connect to that. They see us a less than them because we were the ones who were “stolen” and taken away from the culture. But if you watch the 2016 version of Roots then you know (which I always knew) they show you how “our people” sold us down the river for the things that the Europeans could give them. Then today these people whose ancestors sold us want to basically shame us and make us feel less then.
Then of course you have people like me and many others who are black and Indigenous mixed where one parent is black the other Indigenous or maybe both parents have it. There is always that “black” grandmother who you always hear whispers from that your family is Cherokee or Blackfoot or some other tribe and you know it as they look Indigenous.
You also though have to bring up the fact that those “civile tribes” who let in black folks were really slave owners. And then of course there were those tribes who were already dark skinned and just got stuck under the “colored” banner during classification of our people who turned into black and confused a lot of folks who are really Indigenous. Plus back then if you said you were Native that was a crime worse than being black which no one talks about.
That brings me to Waka Flaka a new school rapper who music is not my favorite recently after way too long is finally making more “mainstream” music for us and has been doing radio interviews. He recently was on Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning show & then was on Sway in the Morning. On both shows Waka talks some really woke stuff like Veganism, knowing what you eat and also the power of water and I was here for both. He also talks about DJ’s not making rap albums as they are not MCs and also once you become famous you shouldn’t be reppin your old gang. Then Waka starts talking about identity. Now I also like it when these artist and celbs come out and reveal some stuff most of the mainstream world are not wake to or down with as they have been sold lies. I do in theory understand and agree with what Waka was trying to get at but it fell flat when he couldn’t articulate himself very well. When a lot of these woke artist come on these radio shows they usually come correct with facts and everything to support their claims knowing that the mainstream folks will tear them apart IE B.O.B and his flat earth theory (which I don’t agree with).
Waka could have said ok yes my family has Indigenous ancestry and that’s cool but in these clips it just feels like he is trying to diss black folks when early in his career he was mr. black man. It reminds me of when Raven went on her rant on Oprah talking about not being black. Now I agreed with Raven when she said that yes I am black but I’m not an African-American my family is from Mississippi not Africa and to that I understand which is why I agreed with her.
At the end of the day though we all need to educate ourselves because I feel we all have this fantasy about the way things where pre-Columbus and some of that is true but not all of it. At the end of the day we are all human and we all have conflicts, wars, hard times. No one culture is perfect! So this idea that Indigenous folks were just chillin on this land in harmony with Mother Earth in peace and being the most enlightened beings on Earth is a fallacy. Same with Africa. I mean sure where these cultures as cruel as many European nations back then I don’t think and of course more educated but we were not perfect.
But on another note if there are black Americans who are just now finding out about their Native ancestors and want to learn more so they come to the tribe to learn then as that tribe you shouldn’t push them away. This happens too often that black folks don’t get the right education about the culture due to wanting to learn and being turned away. On the flip side though if you are really about that life and wanna learn more be respectful because there are black folks who are not. They just go with the mainstream version of Indigenous people and don’t learn. Like a few months ago when a black rapper wore this Pocahontas costume and a Native women called her on it. They were both at fault in this situation. If the rapper is afro-indigenous then more power to her that means she comes from two rich cultures & that’s awesome. On the one hand I understand where this women is coming from but she could have asked if she had native in her not just assuming she didn’t and if this rapper did or didn’t have native blood she should be way more educated on what costumes like this do to the image of indigenous women & the HIGH rate of missing and murdered indigenous women! Education on both ends is definitely needed.
At the end of the day with people like Waka Flaka Flame and other folks claiming this, education is key about both black and Indigenous cultures in this country through history and today. But this none of this gives racist a pass so don’t get it twisted cause if you ain’t white you ain’t right in their eyes.
I hope this was both educational and informative at the same time 🙂