Black Indians: An American Story (2001) Rated NR

Black indiansThis documentary explores the racial identity of mixed-descent people of both Native American and African-American heritage. Starring James Earl Jones

This is definitely a lost part of history, or at the very least, a part that has been shied away from. This film looks at the beginnings of our nation, and the racial identities that both the Natives and Africans had. It explores how these two people groups connected and intermarried, thereby facing racial confusion and prejudice.

The impact of pencil genocide is unpacked, as well.  I knew it existed with the African people, but I was not aware of the impact it had on Native Americans, who were considered African if they had any percentage of African ancestry, essentially erasing their Native American identities and heritage.

Not only did pencil genocide steal Native Americans’ ancestral history, it also stole their sense of cultural pride.  They have had to rediscover their identities as both African Americans and Native Americans, learning how to appreciate and embrace both parts of their identities.  This film is definitely worth a watch to bring both awareness and understanding to this under-explored part of history.



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