BLACK VOICES

‘By Blood' Tackles The Untold Legacy Of Slave-Owning Cherokees

Portrait of Civil War 'contrabands,' fugitive slaves who were emancipated upon reaching the North, sitting outside a house, p
Portrait of Civil War 'contrabands,' fugitive slaves who were emancipated upon reaching the North, sitting outside a house, possible in Freedman's Village in Arlington, Virginia, mid 1860s. Up to 1100 former slaves at a time were housed in the government established Freedman's Village in the thirty years in which it served as a temporary shelter for runaway and liberated slaves. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

It’s an obscure part of antebellum history, but members of no fewer than five Native American tribes participated in chattel slavery. Before they were driven from their lands in what’s now known as the U.S. South, the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole nations all had members who bought and sold black people as property.

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