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[02] History 101 E-mail
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Friday, 13 January 2006 09:57
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History 101


In the words of Charles Neville:

This is our history
This is the way it was
This is
History 101

A great civilization existed
in this land we call
America
long before the people who came to colonize
even knew that the world was round.

Pima
Dineh
Mohawk
Ojibway
Lakota
Creek
Seminole
Cree
Miscasoukee
Houmas
Choctaw
Misqualee
Suquamish
Duanish
Pawnee
Cheyenne
Apache
Arapahoe
Navaho
Mohican
Seneca
Tunica
Shoshone

The people
now called
Indian


2

There were varied cultures,
with traditions that involved
guarding & nurturing & keeping the Earth,
our Mother,
honoring all other living creatures

But colonists
from a far land beyond the ocean arrived here
seeking to own,
to conquer & subdue

the wilderness & its inhabitants,
to subdue the Earth,
to conquer Nature.

This would require a lot of work
more work than the colonists
could do themselves,
more work than the colonists
were willing to do themselves,
more work than the colonists
were capable of doing themselves.

They needed
laborers, they needed
someone to do this dirty work
for them.

And so
another ancient civilization
was called upon to supply
the labor

Yoruba
Mandinka
Zulu
Ibo
Princes from Dahomey,
Princess from the Kongo,
King from Bakulu
Masai
Africans!

These people
were brought in chains,
under duress,
forced to work under pain of death.

This is our history
This is the way it was
This is
History 101


3

There were cultural similarities
& similarities in the attitudes
of the colonists
toward both of these groups of people
& this gave these two groups common cause

together
maybe they could successfully resist

But
the colonial officials
saw this danger
& they took a step to prevent
an alliance

Hire Indians
as slave hunters,
Force the slaves
to fight the Indians

Create fear
hatred,
distrust,
subjugate both peoples
Divide And Conquer!

Now this strategy worked
to a certain extent
but in some areas
Seminoles & Africans joined
forces
& fought
to the bitter end

Houmas
& Choctaws
& Africans
joined each other
in the Southern swamps
& fought

& in New Orleans,
in Congo Square,
Choctaws
Houmas
Africans

got together to express
the similarities in their culture
in music & dance

& to this day
in New Orleans
there are people who are known as
Mardi Gras Indians
who honor
& commemorate
the cooperation,
respect
& alliance

of the African
& the Indian,
the Indian & the African,
African & Indian,
Indian & African

This is our history
This is the way it was
This is
History 101


4

African Americans
& Native Americans,
Native Americans & African Americans
are strangers to each other today

we are brothers
& sisters
of the same blood,
brothers & sisters
of the same spirit,
brothers & sisters
from the same mud

Our Mother,
the Earth

We must know each other
We must learn

The thing that separates us today
is lack of knowledge & understanding

This is our history
This is the way it is
This is
History 101



New Orleans
1996

from White Buffalo Prayer
 
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