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29th March
2015
written by Mad Cow

USA, directed by Marcos Barbery and Sam Russell

Mad Cow’s rating: cowbells4

I left this movie wondering how many other important things I don’t know. I knew nothing about the fight between the Cherokee Nation and the Freedmen, the former slaves of that nation. As slaves they were treated as all slaves were, that is, the women were raped by their masters and they increased in numbers. After the Civil War the former slaves were granted citizenship by the Cherokees. But in the 20th century they were denied citizenship unless they qualified as having Cherokee blood via their ancestors certification in the Dawes treaty, set in 1866. The trick is that the Dawes line-up was racist, denying Black people the right to be on the Cherokee roles.  This film traces some of the fights and includes interviews of people on either side, including many Freedmen descendents whose identity firmly embraces Cherokee culture.

 

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