While Thanksgiving has largely transitioned from a day marking a fictionalized relationship between European settlers (they'd be considered "terrorists" by today's standards) and the Natives who originally inhabited what came to be known as the United States, the holiday is now primarily focused on time with family, overeating and giving thanks.However, it's still the perfect opportunity to learn a bit more about the Native Americans and how we are connected to them.Here are a few important things to know about the relationship between Blacks and Native Americans.
Unless you have documented evidence, please stop telling people that Grandma Mary Louise Jenkins was "full-blood Indian" just because she rocked long, silky plaits her entire life.
Oh, and don't run out telling people you're 12 percent White now and acting like that makes you mixed, either. Okay, Maybe You Do Have Some Native Blood: Some Seminole Natives of Florida did form communities with escaped Africans, creating what came to be known as Black Seminoles.
Hundreds of Africans traveled with the Seminole nation when they were forced to relocate to Native American territory, while some remained with those who stayed in Florida.
The 1835 Census showed that some 10% of the Cherokee people had African blood.
Before the Civil War, the Africans living amongst Cherokee people were either enslaved by them or they were free, but lacking citizenship.
In 1866, the Cherokee nation signed a treaty with the US government recognizing those people of African heritage as full citizens.