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October 14, 2001

On October 13, 2001, The HistoryMakers, in collaboration with The Field Museum of Natural History 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 panelists 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.

Native American Objects
Marion "Roni" Wells
Audience Members
Ivan Watkins, Marion "Roni" Wells, and Art Burton, Jr.