Relations between Native Americans and those of African descent in the South, 1526 to 1907
Howard, Peter A.
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The first encounters between Africans and those people indigenous to this continent occurred over five centuries ago. Both suffered the unimaginable consequences of the ensuing westward European hegemony. Through a comprehensive view of historical events, a survey of selected literature, and a critical view of sociological theories, this paper explores the relations between Blacks and Indians--their shared yet separate histories of subjugation and oppression. It seeks to explicate the differences regarding these disparate forms of oppression as well as the subjects' responses to the oppressions. It suggests that, as a consequence of attempts at acculturation, of constantly changing US and Indian Tribal laws, and of the blurring of the racial lines due to ever increasing "mixing of blood," the traditional, Euro-centric system of characterizing Blacks and Indians has largely ignored the complexities associated with miscegenation. It calls attention to the present-day need for wider recognition and inclusion of the mixed-blood Individual in both life and literature as a product of his or her respective culture as well as an individual who can be an agent of cultural change.