African American News and Genealogy

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Friday, December 10, 2004

America's Black Indians Celebrate Two Cultural Heritages

By Susan Logue Washington, D.C.10 December 2004

Black Americans can trace their roots to Africa, but millions of them share another heritage, as well: American Indian ancestry. Jerry Monroe is one of them. Mr. Monroe was born in New York City in 1960 to a father who was both Apache and Mohawk, and to a mother whose ancestors were African American, Irish and Cherokee. He knew at a young age that he was American Indian, but the more interested he became in that heritage, the more he realized that most people only saw him as African American. "In the 1980s," he says, "I grew my hair long and a lot of my Indian friends and my father's friends accepted me as Native American. But I knew that whenever an African American mixes with another nationality, you see that predominant gene of the African American."

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