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Resources for Antiracist & Antioppression Work in (and beyond) the City Tech Library

Shared Histories of Indigenous and Black Communities in America

Recommended Antiracism/Antioppression Resources, November 2022, curated by Rachel

This month I wanted to share a few resources about the shared histories of Indigenous and Black communities in the Americas. I chose this topic because it is personal: my ancestors include members of mixed Black and Native communities in Virginia and North Carolina. Also, this month is Native American Heritage Month

Ancestors Know Who We Are is an online exhibit from the National Museum of the American Indian that moves beyond the idea of the “Native experience” or the “Black experience” to look at work by artists whose experiences include both. The exhibit brings together six Black-Indigenous women artists whose work addresses issues of race, gender, multiracial identity, and intergenerational knowledge. 

Black Indian Lives of the Past and Present: A Dialogue is a discussion between anthropologist Robert Collins and historian Tiya Miles about the interrelated and complex histories of African Americans and Native Americans. While some Native tribes enslaved black men and women; others welcomed them. African Americans fought alongside the Seminoles in Florida; but Buffalo Soldiers battled Natives after the Civil War.

Why We Need to Rethink Afro-Indigenous History in the United States is an excerpt from An Afro-Indigenous History of the United States by Kyle T. Mays (currently on order for the library). “What can we learn from these early encounters and examples of Afro-Indigenous peoples? First, we should remind ourselves that Native US people should also include Indigenous Africans in their understanding of who is Indigenous. Second, we should reorient our understanding of Indigenous encounters in prerevolutionary America…We also see the experiences of people mixed with African and US Indigenous roots who were considered Indigenous by some, but strongly identified with their African roots because of the rampant antiblackness. Finally, these experiences should help us understand that antiblackness and Indigenous dispossession were fundamental to the formation of US democracy.”

Youth in Action: Indigenous Peoples' Day—Black-Indigenous Youth Advancing Social Justice is a recorded panel discussion between young activists of blended heritage who work to advance Black and Indigenous solidarity and create positive change in their communities. Moderated by Amber Starks (African American and Muscogee [Creek]). Panelists include Joy SpearChief-Morris (African American and Kainai Blood Tribe), Kyle T. Mays (Black and Saginaw Chippewa) he/him/his, and Autumn Rose Williams (Black and Shinnecock).