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African-Native American Genealogy: Tracing Your Roots, Telling Your Story

  • Broadcast in Lifestyle
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Today we unravel the hidden history of African-Native American people whose genealogy has been obfuscated and often denied. Our informative dialogue may help you trace your roots. Our special guest Angela Y. Walton-Raji is an avid genealogist, who has researched her family history since 1975. Ms.Walton-Raji was born in western Arkansas, raised on the Arkansas/Oklahoma border, in the City of Ft. Smith. In 1991 she located her family records among those of the Choctaw Nation, confirming a relationship often spoken about from family oral history. With this discovery, came the sudden knowledge that her great grandparents were enslaved Africans of the Choctaw Nation who migrated west on the Trail of Tears. Angela Y. Walton-Raji is the author of "Black Indian Genealogy: African American ancestors Among the Five Civilized Tribes. It is known that many Africans intermarried with Native Americans. Less widely known is the fact that many Native Americans also owned slaves, and fathered children with enslaved African women. The Five Civilized Tribes - Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole - owned slaves. In addition there were smaller numbers of Free People of Color who lived in many of the Native American nations and who married persons from those nations, and whose descendants claim ancestry from the Oklahoma Afro-Indian people. As a result, a significant percentage of Americans have African and Native American ancestry.