Being and Belonging

Through the centuries, people whose lives cross racial lines have found difficulty in gaining full acceptance from the society in which they live. This situation has often been true for African-Native American people, because their blended identities challenge the rules of race and racial categorization.

But African-Native American people are all around us. Some identify primarily with a Native nation. Some identify primarily with the African American community. All of them hold the human desire for being and belonging.

Jimi Hendrix, rock legend

Jimi Hendrix, rock legend

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”
—Jimi Hendrix

The rock-and-roll innovator Jimi Hendrix often spoke proudly of his Cherokee grandmother. He was one of many African Americans who cite family traditions in claiming Native ancestry.

Courtesy Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame