Reviews for Black Indians : A Hidden Heritage


School Library Journal Reviews 1986 August
Gr 6 Up Most Americans remain totally unaware of the biological and cultural bonds which were established by African slaves and American Indians. Using a variety of tertiary sources, Katz has attempted to reconstruct a legacy among two peoples who, for a while, provided mutual support and refuge from the unrelenting atrocities inflicted upon them by greedy whites. Although aspects of the separate histories are provided, a stronger emphasis is on black Indians whose swarthy complexion or curly hair was apparentan obvious limitation of definition. Black Indians who are more or less familiar (Crispus Attucks and Paul Cuffee) are identified, as are the unfamiliar Zeferina, a woman commander of a black Indian settlement, and O. S. Fox, editor of the Cherokee Afro-American Advocate . Katz makes it clear that much of this history is extremely well hidden or entirely lost, and numerous references are made to nameless black Indians. Because of the lack of information, too many statements are less than definitive. Another disturbing feature is Katz' practice of quoting without documenting his sources. Although incomplete, this highly readable and sad chronology of a hidden heritage is needed and welcomed. Helen E. Williams, University of Maryland, College Park Copyright 1986 Cahners Business Information.

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