“Rita is one of countless souls who has researched   and uncovered her family’s Indigenous roots.”  
Author: Rita Sanford           - Enjoy these excerpts.
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The Empress

All of my life I have known that I was a descendant of Native Americans…”Indian” they called it, but I had no idea of what that meant. My ethnicity has always been questioned, and as a child my long, thick braids would garner comments of “Oh, you look just like a little Indian girl”. My response was always, “Okay”.

As time passed and I grew up, I began to hear less of “You look Indian” and more of “What are you?” or “Where are you from?” I heard comments like, “You don’t really look Black” to “Yeah, you’re Black, but not Black, Black”.  So what does that mean and what were they trying to say?

Obviously, to the people asking me these questions, they were not unreasonable. I thought it was very obvious that I was Black and there should be no reason to question that. Yes, I have Native American ancestry, but in my mind I was Black and that was that.

Over the years, I continued to periodically get these questions from people of various cultures and ethnicities—Black, White, Asian, etc. I was most unnerved by these questions when they came from Black people because I thought that they should already know. Well, I was wrong. They questioned me because they really did not know.

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