This seven week mini course is a special winter 2013 offering for the LSA Theme Semester on Race. The course will introduce students to a range of issues and experiences related to the topic and identity category of “Black Indians.” Popularized in the 1980s by a book of the same title, the term “Black Indians” is often used to identify and describe people of mixed-race African American and Native American ancestry. It is also applied to people with strong bi-cultural connections across these groups who may or may not have Black and native “blood” ties. This class will explore and analyze three major aspects of our subject matter:
- historical contexts for the interactions of Africans, African Americans and Native Americans;
- personal experiences stemming from mixed race and bi-cultural Afro-Native identities;
- meanings and effects of “racial stories” that have been crafted and told about “Black Indians” over time.
Major themes and ideas that will emerge in our discussions include: indigeneity, European and U.S. colonialism, slavery, racial formation and racial hierarchy, mixed-race coupling and family making, tribal sovereignty, personal and community identities, and racial and cultural authenticity.
This is a combined short lecture/discussion course that is designed to function as an introduction to the subject matter. Students at all levels are welcome to enroll.