Examining the legacy of racial mixing in Indian Territory through the land and lives of two families, one of Cherokee Freedman descent and one of Muscogee Creek heritage, Darnella Davis's memoir writes a new chapter in the history of racial mixing on the frontier. It is the only book-length account of the intersections between the three races in Indian Territory and Oklahoma written from the perspective of a tribal person and a freedman.
The histories of these families, along with the starkly different federal policies that molded their destinies, offer a powerful corrective to the historical narrative. From the Allotment Period to the present, their claims of racial identity and land in Oklahoma reveal inequalities that still fester more than one hundred years later. Davis offers a provocative opportunity to unpack our current racial discourse and ask ourselves, "Who are 'we' really?"
Darnella Davis is a lifelong artist, writer, teacher, and scholar. Her publications have focused on education reform and equal opportunity. Born in Oklahoma and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Davis now lives in Washington, DC.
"As accessible as it is engrossing . . . Untangling a Red, White, and Black Heritage aids understanding of who the nation is, both in the past and in the present."--Brandy Thomas Wells, Chronicles of Oklahoma
"Because Darnella Davis uses personal family history and documents to describe her legacies with the Creek Nation and Cherokee Freedmen, this book offers a phenomenal and unique approach to culture and land-based race relations during the Indian Allotment Era and how they affect her family. Her years of formal research and family oral histories make this book extraordinary and invaluable."--Ron Welburn, author of Hartford's Ann Plato and the Native Borders of Identity
List of Illustrations Family Tree Voices Acknowledgments
Chapter One. Allotment Chapter Two. The Thorntons and the Bowlins Chapter Three. Tom Adams and His Descendants Chapter Four. Who We Are
Appendix A. The Thornton/Bowlin Cherokee Application Transcripts Appendix B. Chronology Appendix C. List of Documents from the National Archives, Fort Worth Appendix D. Adams Land Allotments Bibliography Index