African Cherokees in Indian Territory
African Cherokees in Indian Territory: From Chattel to Citizens
Forcibly removed from their homes in the late 1830s, Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, and Chickasaw Indians brought their African-descended slaves with them along the Trail of Tears and resettled in Indian Territory, present-day Oklahoma. Celia Naylor vividly charts the experiences of enslaved and free African Cherokees from the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma's entry into the Union in 1907. She explores how slaves connected with Indian communities not only through Indian customs--language, clothing, and food--but also through bonds of kinship. Cherokee freedpeople's struggle for recognition and equal rights that began in the 19th century continues even today in Oklahoma.
from chattel to citizens
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