INDIVISIBLE: African-Native Lives in The Americas
Within the fabric of American identity is woven a story that
has long been invisiblethe lives and experiences of people
who share African-American and Native American ancestry.
African and Native peoples came together in the Americas.
Over centuries, the African Americans and the Native Americans
created shared histories, communities, families, and ways of life.
Prejudice, laws, and twists of history have often divided them from others,
yet African-Native American people were united in the struggle against
slavery and dispossession, and then for self-determination and freedom.
For African-Native Americans, their double heritage is truly indivisible.
The exhibition IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas
is a collaboration between the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American
Indian, National Museum of African-American History and Culture, and
the Smithsonian Institution Travelling Exhibition Service (SITES).
Creek/Choctaw and Muscogee Creek
Creek Nation (Turtle Clan/Wind Clan)decreed that any trace of African ancestry made you "black", regardless of skin color.
Questions of Identity
African-Americans of Mixed-Race are often pressed to choose a single racial "identity".
Historically, laws and customs regarding who was [to be categorized as] "Negro"
But the "one-drop" rulewhether applied in European American or
Native American practiceswas a one-way street: a "drop" of Caucasian
or Native blood did not make you European American or Native American.
Socially, and often legally, racial heritage is directly linked to acceptance and privilege.
For some, "passing" as Indian was a strategy to take advantage of White notions of color.
But stories of "passing" as White or Indian usually fail to consider
underlying reasons, ranging from a desire for acceptance and
opportunity to an embrace of a complex family history.
Smithsonian -- National Museum of the American Indian