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Freedmen of the Frontier - Vols. 1 and 2 with Angela Walton-Raji

  • Broadcast in History



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Angela Walton-Raji is known nationally for her research and work on Oklahoma Native American records.  Her book Black Indian Genealogy Research, African Ancestors Among the Five Civilized Tribes, is the only book of its kind focusing on the unique record sets pertaining to the Oklahoma Freedmen. 

Angela has published two volumes called Freedmen of the Frontier from a blogging project that unfolded in 2017. The goal was to document 52 families from Indian Territory in 52 weeks.By the end of that year, 52 family histories had been placed on the African-Native American Genealogy blog. The families covered in the books are Indian tribal Freedmen---people who were once enslaved by Cherokees, Choctaws, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole Indians. Many of the elders in some of the families highlighted, were people who were brought to Indian Territory on the Trail of Tears. The Trail of Tears is the same journey that forced those tribes from their homes in the southeast to the west. The lesser known story is that those five tribes, including the tribal chiefs took enslaved black people with them. The Freedmen are the people freed by the treaty of 1866, and who lived their lives in Indian Territory from that time, onward.

In 2018, it was decided to put those 52 family stories into a book manuscript. When the stories were tweaked and consolidated there were more than 500 pages of data in the project. Angela then decided to divide the book into two volumes. Volume 1 documented Cherokee, Choctaw, and Chickasaw Freedmen. Volume 2 documented Creek and Seminole Freedmen.


Opening music: Sweet Mellow Spice by AK Alexander Productions, Inc.