Share this on:
 E-mail
315
VIEWS
3
COMMENTS
 
SHARES
About this iReport
  • Not verified by CNN

  • Click to view AWalt's profile
    Posted July 5, 2009 by
    AWalt
    Location
    Cantonsville, Maryland
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Black in America: Your roots

    More from AWalt

    Spirit of a Choctaw Freedwoman

     

    Created by Angela Walton-Raji

    AngelaW859@aol.com

     

     

    An unwritten chapter of slavery in America. Black slaves with Indian masters.

     

    This is a story of people taken westward during the Indian removals and their descendants known as Indian "Freedmen".  Those who were enslaved knew Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) as their home since the 1830s and 40s.   Many lost loved ones on the Trial of Tears and when "the fires were lit" they were there. But they are never mentioned nor reflected in history. BUT---they were there. And their descendants are there to this day.

     

    The slaves of the Five Slaveholding Tribes saw many of their masters form an alliance put on gray uniforms and fight for the South in America's Civil War.  Many saw their neighbors freed in 1865 in Arkansas and Texas, but another year would pass before they would be freed in 1866.   Knowing only one place as home, they remained on the only land they knew.

     

    The former slaves of the Five Slaveholding Tribes witnessed the arrival of outsiders into their land--the intruders. They saw the legalization of that intrusion with the Land Rush.  And they finally became American citizens in 1907.  As soon as statehood took hold they were thrown into second class status with Jim Crow laws making them stay oppressed. But  by that time, 20,000 Freedmen were listed and have documented files connecting them to the land and to their history.

     

    The historical maps still don't include them, (see the CNN map) but now, more than 100,000 Blacks in America, have a documented tie to the Five Slaveholding Tribes--Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek (Muscogee) and Seminole Nations.  These tribes do not include the descendants of the Freedmen fully and many in the tribes will claim that the Freedmen were forced upon them.

     

    Perhaps it should be said that the "Freedom" of the slaves was forced, because the slaves never forced their way onto the auction block.

     

    The story of the Freedmen is one of survival, and a legacy worth preserving.  It is a large chapter unaddressed in American history, and we are now telling our stories.

    What do you think of this story?

    Select one of the options below. Your feedback will help tell CNN producers what to do with this iReport. If you'd like, you can explain your choice in the comments below.
    Be and editor! Choose an option below:
      Awesome! Put this on TV! Almost! Needs work. This submission violates iReport's community guidelines.

    Comments

    Log in to comment

    iReport welcomes a lively discussion, so comments on iReports are not pre-screened before they post. See the iReport community guidelines for details about content that is not welcome on iReport.

    Add your Story Add your Story