Black and Red

Saturday 10/13/2001

On October 13, 2001, The HistoryMakers in collaboration with the Field Museum and the DuSable Museum of African-American History, hosted Black and Red: The Little Known History of African American and American Indian Heritages.


This event held at the DuSable Museum featured three panelists; Marion "Roni" Wells, Ivan Watkins, and Art Burton, Jr. who discussed their personal challenges in living with mixed ancestry. The panel, moderated by Julieanna L. Richardson, Founder and Executive Director of The HistoryMakers also shared conflicting histories of the relationship between African Americans and Native Americans in the United States. Other topics included the status of "Black Indians" in Native American tribes after the Civil War, their presence on the Trail of Tears, and the problems they experienced as they attempted to assimilate into various communities. In addition, Roni Wells displayed Native American arts and crafts to the attendees and Ivan Watkins led the audience in a Cahokia prayer.
Black and Red was produced as part of The Field Museum's Center for Cultural Understanding and Change's Cultural Connections program.
Prior to the event The HistoryMakers conducted oral history interviews with Roni Wells, Ivan Watkins and Art Burton, Jr. The footage from these interviews as well as footage of the live event are part of The HistoryMakers archive.


The HistoryMakers staff has created a finding aid for this event. View/Download below: 

 Black and Red: The Little Known History of African American and American Indian Heritages (Chicago 2001)


Art Burton, Jr.

Ivan B. Watkins

Roni Wilson