Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage

Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage

by William Loren Katz


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Though they have never appeared in a school text, Hollywood movie or a TV show of the Old West, Black Indians were there as sure as Sitting Bull, Davy Crockett and Geronimo. Their story began at the time of Columbus, ranged from North American forests to South American jungles, and the jewel-like islands of the Caribbean. The first freedom paths taken by runaway slaves led to Native American villages. There black men and women found a red hand of friendship and an accepting adoption system and culture. The sturdy offspring of Black-Indian marriages shaped the early days of the fur trade, added a new dimension to frontier diplomacy, and made a daring contribution to the fight for American liberty. Early Florida history was determined by a powerful African-Seminole alliance that fought the U.S. Army, Navy and Marines to a standstill for forty years. Like other intrepid frontier people, these dark Americans braved every peril for a slice of the American Dream-freedom, a safe home, family happiness and a piece of one's own land. In the chronicles of the Americas their long, arduous quest for freedom is still a neglected chapter. Through careful research and rare antique prints and photographs this book reveals how black and red people learned to live and work together in the Americas to oppose white oppression. Here is an American story that reveals a little-known aspect of our past and shatters some myths.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442446373
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 01/03/2012
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 155,373
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

William Loren Katz is the author of forty books, including such award-winning titles as Breaking the Chains: African American Slave Resistance, The Black West, and Black Women of the Old West. He has lectured in Europe, Africa, and the United States; he has been a Scholar in Residence at Teachers College, Columbia University; and he has served as a consultant to the Smithsonian Institute and to school systems from California to Florida and England. He lives in New York City. Visit him at

Table of Contents

1If You Know I Have a History9
2They Fled Amongst the Indians20
3Between the Races We Cannot Dig too Deep a Gulf33
4The Finest Looking People I Have Ever Seen49
5We Are All Living As in One House63
6That You Know Who We Are76
7He was Our Go-Between89
8Their Mixing is to be Prevented100
9Like the Indians Themselves114
10Blood so Largely Mingled126
11The Finest Specimens of Mankind141
12No Bars can Hold Cherokee Bill154
13The Greatest Sweat and Dirt Cowboy that Ever Lived169

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Black Indians a Hidden Heritage 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
kharding on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is listed as grade 6 and up, but seems to be most appropriate for high school. It is organized by topics relating to the history of black Indians over a range of time, and does not stick to a chronological order. Sometimes these topics are very specific and examine a particular group or individual, while other times they are a broad discussion of a historical issue, with specific examples included. The writing of this book is sometimes strong, but too often weak. I found the sensationalized tone in the introduction and first few chapters very distracting. Katz finds numerous ways to make the same claim that blacks and Indians were actively seeking freedom, while Europeans were professing it yet squelching it. As the book goes on this tone weakens and the author allows the history to speak for itself instead of always defending a point. I learned a lot from this book and will use this knowledge to support future lessons that I teach. However, I don't think I would teach this entire book. For one, I think it is too dense. Further, I think the author's writing is often sensational and the language is unjustified. The author does not make efforts to explain the words that he chooses when referring to race, and fluctuates often. Katz is very heavy on the term "dark people" to refer to people who were black, Native American or mixed. If he is to use this term in order to explain that it is how the colonizers viewed both races than he needs to explain that as part of his intentions for the use of the term. There is one chapter in this book that I found exceptional. Chapter 8 is titled "Their Mixing is to be Prevented" and goes into concise but well supported explanation of the history of slavery and the use of racism within that system. While this chapter does not sum up the material of the whole book, it is so well written and informative that I would use it as a main source for students to read, while providing supplemental details as part of a lesson.
gally1958 More than 1 year ago
I first read this book at least 20 years ago and was thoroughly intrigued with the information that was presented. This information is missing from our history books and William Loren Katz did an excellent job of sharing facts.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
MR. Katz in my opinion has taken a step that will bring him much admiration- Anyone who doesn't have a problem with reality would like to know the truth. Documents HA!!!! All you have to do if you really want to know is ask the older generation of blacks and they will tell you that history is not what it has been painted to be, most of these older blacks speak of their grandmothers being slave- Indian and grandfathers being slave-black and most children of this reunion resulted in black children with indian blood and don't forget white children of indian blood because their parents were owned by the slave master and he had his children in the mix also.. At least my family and many others are the result of the mixing and it not a bad thing but history has made us ashamed to be associated with anything or anyone other than the images that are depicted in our history book. IT is already documented Go to a major college bookstore and you WILL see BLACK INDIANS on its shelves and tons of other history books that the average person does not want to have any knowledge of...