Reclaiming identity in the face of systemic erasure – CBC

by ahnationtalk on February 3, 202351 Views

Feb. 3, 2023

Black Indigenous women shed light on intertwining histories during Black History Month

Two framed photographs sit on Tiara Cash’s kitchen table in her Coquitlam, B.C., home.

“This is my mom and this is my grandfather, and they are both Black Native,” she said.

Cash’s great-grandmother on her mothers’s side was Chahta (Choctaw) and Tsalagi (Cherokee), while her great-grandfather on her mothers’s side was Chahta. They were also Black.

But she says her Indigenous identity was shrouded because of the U.S.’s ‘one-drop rule’ that came into effect around the 1830s.

“If you had any percentage of Black within you or you had Black relatives, you were re-classified [by the U.S. government] … as white or Black,” said Cash, a PhD student at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.

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