Somehow distanced from the Andros roots, many of the Nassau descendants did not know of this rich history. I was proud to "pull their coats to the fact", both in Nassau and in Florida when I was honored to give a presentation on the Black Seminoles as part of the Gullah-Geechee Coalition's Black Seminole Reunion Journey a few years ago. I think my Native American great grandmother, Mama Ida, set me up to be a channel for all of that--from unwittingly marrying as an ancestral storyteller/historian, a descendant of the great Black Seminoles and of carrying their stories forth in this New Millenium. When I go to "rush" (perform) with my husband in The Bahamas' vibrant ancestral festival, Junkanoo, I often design a special t-shirt to wear celebrating the Black Seminoles' contributions.
On it I state in big, bold, colorful letters that here are The Phenomenal Black Seminoles with a powerful story "rarely told." From their prominent presence in three major battles for freedom and hegemony in 19th century Florida to their status as international traders, negotiators, translaters and liberty power brokers, these folks have made a forceful mark on global history although efforts were continually made to either erase this mark or keep it safely "under wraps."
Well, as the song goes, these ancestors are standing up boldly and shouting, "I'm coming out!" as the truth, the real deal truth, and nothing but the bonafide Truth is being stated and related regarding their trials, triumphs, and global contributions. I started doing "my l'il part", as the Tennessee elders would say in my lectures, exhibits, reenactments and presentations--and particularly in my book, FREE GLOBALLY--The International Underground Railroad. Stay tuned and "hang tight" with us, this blog and the accompanying work will be, "the good Lord willin' and the creek don't rise", an expansion, an elevation, and an ongoing revelation on these particular diaspora contributors. These ancestors were definitely "something else!"
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