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Native Americans: African-Native Americans


On this tab, students will be able to learn and explore more about African-Native Americans. For further research assistance, you can chat live with a librarian at

Below you will find:

  • suggested keywords
  • suggested databases and suggested search terms for those databases
  • suggested eBooks at Valencia and other suggested eBooks
  • specific individuals and groups of African-Native American descent
  • suggested articles

Suggested Keywords

These words can be used to search the library catalog, databases, and other resources:

  • African Indian
  • African Native American
  • Afro-Indigenous
  • Black Indian
  • Black Indigenous 
  • Black Native American

As works have become more specific and awareness of individual Native American peoples has increased, the names of the specific groups should be used. For example:

  • Black Cherokees
  • Black Seminoles

Suggested Databases

Library databases allow you to explore news articles, documentaries, magazine articles, and academic journal articles.

Library databases can be accessed by logging into your Atlas account then clicking on the Search the Library link. Once you're on the Library Search page, click the Databases A-Z link at the top. If prompted, your Borrower ID is your VID with the V and your PIN is the last 4 digits of your VID.

Suggested eBooks at Valencia

Search the Library Catalog to find books and ebooks at Valencia College Library.

You can use some the suggested keywords above.

Below are just a few suggestions.

Other Suggested eBooks

Online Resources

Black Indians: An American Story Video

"Black Indians: An American Story" (as seen on ABC) brings to light a hidden heritage of America's past ‐ the cultural and racial fusion of Native and African Americans. Narrated by James Earl Jones, “Black Indians: An American Story” explores what brought the Native and Black Native Americans together, what drove them apart and the challenges they face in the 21st century.

Elleanor Eldridge


Elleanor Eldridge (born March 1784/1785 in Rhode Island and died c. 1845), who was of mixed African and Native American heritage, established herself as a successful businesswoman who worked in numerous trades, successfully defended her brother in a lawsuit against him, and became a landowner and homeowner.



Image courtesy of Library Company of Philadelphia.

Black Seminoles

The last of the Black Seminole Negro Indian Scouts

Image courtesy of the New York Public Library.

Before the banning of slavery in the United States in December 1865, several hundred black freedmen escaped their masters and sought refuge among the Seminoles in Florida. Soon after, the Seminoles were removed to the Indian Territory. The Black Seminoles, as they became, went to Coahuila, Mexico, to escape enslavement. There they were welcomed by the Mexicans and later joined by native Seminoles, Black Creeks, and Black Cherokees. In 1870, the United States Army issued a message to the Black Seminoles' chief, John Horse, inviting him and his band to come back to the United States to enlist as Indian scouts and help fight hostile Native Americans. The Black Seminoles, about 200 people, accepted the agreement, believing that they would be granted land in the United States, food and provisions, as well as reimbursement for traveling costs. Though over the years, none of these conditions were met.

Edmonia Lewis

Edmonia Lewis, the first professional African-American sculptor, was born in Ohio or New York in 1843 or 1845. Her father was a free African-American and her mother a Chippewa Indian. Orphaned before she was five, Lewis lived with her mother’s nomadic tribe until she was twelve years old. Lewis’s older brother, Sunrise, left the Chippewas and moved to California where he became a gold miner. He financed his sister’s early schooling in Albany, and also helped her to attend Oberlin College in Ohio in 1859. While at Oberlin she shed her Chippewa name ​“Wildfire” and took the name Mary Edmonia Lewis.

Her sculptures can be found on the Smithsonian American Art Museum's website.

Image courtesy of National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.


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