FROM THE ARCHIVE

Opinion: Seminole Nation always black

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MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2002

African-Americans have always been a part of the Seminole Nation, a writer for the New York Times says.

In an opinion on the debate over the status of African-American members of the tribe, Brent Staples writes that the Seminole Nation came together when refugees of other tribes fled to the Florida wilderness along with runaway slaves. There, he says, they formed the tribe that was eventually removed to Oklahoma.

"[E]ven though blacks in the Seminole tribe sometimes posed as slaves to avoid capture, they were in fact full tribal citizens from the very beginning," Staples writes.

Staples says efforts to kick the black members out of the tribe show "self-hatred and ignorance of history."

Get the Story:
Brent Staples: The Seminole Tribe, Running From History (The New York Times 4/21)
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