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Al Jazeera: Organization celebrates Black Indian ancestry






Participants in the first meeting of the National Congress of Black American Indians in Washington, D.C. July 19, 2014. Photo from Sima Lee / Facebook

Al Jazeera reports on the first meeting of the newly-formed National Congress of Black American Indians:
At the first gathering of the newly created National Congress of Black American Indians, organizers and attendees came to unite and celebrate individuals of both African and Native American ancestry — a subject often fraught with complicated questions of race, identity and citizenship.

Although Native Americans and African Americans have crossed paths, intermarried and formed alliances since pre-colonial times, often uniting in their common fight against slavery and dispossession, their shared history has been slow to be unearthed and brought into the light.

The formation and the first meeting of the NCBAI sought to remove the taboo of mixed ancestry and bring together those who could trace their ancestry to both communities. The gathering received endorsement and letters of support from Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, D.C. mayor Vincent Gray and Prince George County Executive Rushern L. Baker III.

“This has been a conversation that has been avoided and pushed aside, and folks who have wanted to have this conversation have been marginalized, subjugated, separated, downtrodden, stepped on,” said Jay Gola Waya Sunoyi, one of the founders of the National Congress. “But still we’re here.”

Get the Story:
Black American Indians seek to honor their mixed ancestry (Al Jazeera 7/22)