African Towns in Oklahoma
Arcadia---established in 1890 and incorporated in 1987
Boley -- located in the western part of Okfuskee County this
historically black town was established in 1903.
Langston -- named for the noted educator, abolitionist, and
Congressman John Mercer Langston of Virginia, this city-town was founded in 1891, and is
the home to
Red Bird -- In the Creek Nation, this town lies only a few
miles from Coweta Oklahoma. it was officially established in 1902
the heart of the Creek Nation and only a few miles south of Muskogee this town
lies on the banks of Elk Creek.
Taft -- Originally known as Twine, I.T. this Creek Nation
black town was established in 1903. Like neighboring Red Bird, it was a market
for rural farmers mostly black.
Tullahassee -- established as a mission for the Creeks in 1850.
Vernon -- established
in 1895, and still exists today.
Wewoka---established by African Seminole
leader John Horse [See notes below], in the 1840s?
Source: A fuller exposition of the above towns and other
information on Black Indians can be found at the following website http://www.african-nativeamerican.com/6-towns.htm.
The above listing is based on the research and writing of Angela Y.
Walton-Raji in her list entitled "African Towns
Notes: Some believe that it was John
Jumper of Oklahoma rather than John Horse of Texas who founded the
town of Wewoka.
Angela Y. Walton-Raji has written, however, that
"John Horse is INDEED the founder of the town of Wewoka, Oklahoma.
John Horse known as Gopher John also Juan Caballo, was from Florida,
relocated to Indian Territory and then to Mexico. After the war, he
frequented Texas, as well as the original Seminole nation in Indian
Territory and died in Mexico."
* * * *
John Horse & John Jumper
Grandson of John Horse
Institute of Texan Cultures,
Horse, known as Gopher John or John Caballo (probably Juan Caballo) in
Texas and Mexico, was the black Seminole chief, a freedman of African,
Indian, and Spanish ancestry who also served as Wild Cat’s
interpreter. One observer describes John Horse with his plumed turban
and “unerring rifle” as a tall, erect, powerful form, with
handsome features and “carefully combed long, crinkly hair wearing
tasteful Indian garb” (Porter 1943:10-15).
name, Gopher John, was the legacy of a trick he played on an army
officer who fancied “gophers,” or Florida terrapins, as
gourmet food (Porter 1943:10-15).
grandson, John Jefferson, became a trumpeter in the Seminole Scouts when
the black Seminoles moved to Texas.
With the 1856 treaty with Muscogee Creek government, the
U.S. federal government established the first Seminole Nation in Oklahoma.
For the Seminole refused to live under Creek governance. Recognized as an
independent nation within a nation, the Seminole Nation occupied land
between the South Canadian River and the North Canadian River bounded on
the east by a line where the present city of Tecumseh, Oklahoma now exists
and on the west by the western boundary of the United States in 1856,
which was the 100th meridian.
Seminole Chief John Horse
Drawn by N. Orr
Institute of Texan Cultures, 72-5
* * * *
|The Seminoles, under the leadership of Chief John Jumper, moved to
their new nation and established a community known as the Green Head Prairie. A
council house was located about two miles north and two miles west of the
agency. After this settlement was made and the homes were well established, the
War between the States erupted and the Seminoles as well as other members of the
Five Civilized Tribes (Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, & Muskogee Creek), took
up arms and fought one against the other.
Under the agreement made with the Federal government, the
Seminoles were to be protected from outside invasion, but with the rumors of
war, and before any battles were fought, the Government withdrew all of its
forces, leaving the Indian Nations unprotected from invasion from the South.
About one-third of the Tribe, under the leadership of Big
John Chupco, voted
to remain loyal to the Union and they proceeded to move to Kansas. The first
skirmishes of the war took place when these Seminoles, along with other tribal
members, who favored the North, fought three engagements to reach help in
The remainder of the Seminoles under John Jumper, joined forces with the
Confederacy and with civilians living in camps south of the Red River in Texas.
The soldiers, with Colonel Jumper as their leader, fought under the command of
General Stan Watie. The war devastated Indian Territory and when it came to an end the Five
Civilized Tribes were forced to give up their claim to all their land in the
western half of what is now Oklahoma.
In 1866, the Seminoles were required to sign a new treaty. This treaty made
certain provisions that included the sale of all the Seminole Nation to the
United States at the rate of 15 cents per acre; to free their slaves and give
them tribal rights; to give rights of way to the railroads; to make peace among
themselves and with other tribes; to help organize a state made up of the
Indians in Oklahoma; and the Seminoles were allowed to buy land sold by the
Muscogee Creeks for a price of 50 cents per acre. This new land was the Second
Seminole Nation and existed from 1866 to 1907. This consisted of present day
Seminole County with the addition of 175,000 acres that the Seminoles later
bought from the Muscogee Creeks.
With the signing of the Treaty in 1866, the Government commissioned Elijah
Brown to bring the Northern Seminoles back to their new nation and set up a new
capital city. He chose as the site for the new capital, the present city of
Wewoka. 17 years earlier, a Freedman leader, Gopher John [See note
above], had made a temporary
settlement on the north bank of the Wewoka Creek. They had given the name
Wewoka, "Barking Water", to the settlement because of the noise made
by the small falls located just east of the settlement.
In 1866, a trading post was built, and in 1867, the first Post Office was
commissioned with Elijah Brown named as the Post-Master.
Although many of the Seminoles followed the leadership of John
Jumper, the U.S. federal government recognized Big John Chupco
as the Chief of Seminoles. When allowed an election John Jumper became
Chief. Jumper soon resigned as Chief, for he felt a need to spend his
time in church work at Spring Baptist Church, which he had also
F. Brown was elected Chief. Governor Brown, as he was called, was
the son of Dr. John Brown who married a Seminole girl, Lucy Graybeard.
John F. Brown was the oldest child of their marriage. Governor Brown was
well-educated and was successful in keeping the peace within the tribe
and the Seminoles began to enjoy a period of peace and prosperity.
The first school founded among the Seminoles was established in 1843 and was
called Oak Ridge Mission. This school was sponsored by the Presbyterian Church.
The leader of this school was John Bemo, a young Seminole man who was the nephew
of the Florida war Chief, Osceola. This school was abandoned before the Civil
War and was replaced by another school called Ramsey Mission, located three
miles north of Wewoka. In 1880, a school for girls was founded about three miles
west of the present town of Sasakwa. In 1892, a boy's school was built three
miles south and two miles west of the present city of Seminole. This school was
known as the Mekusukey Mission for Boys. In 1893, the Sasakwa Girls school was
united with a new girls' boarding school called Emahaka Mission, located five
miles south of Wewoka.
Black Drink Singer
Although he was not a chief, Osceola's ability and fiery spirit made
him the symbol of resistance and a key leader in the Second Seminole
War. He was captured while under a "flag of truce". Osceola
died in 1838 while imprisoned at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina.
Towns Today and
Came from Florida
Black Slaves, Red Masters Part 1 /
Black Slaves, Red Masters Part 2
Black Slaves, Red Masters Part 3
* * *
* * * * *
Faces At The Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism
By Derrick Bell
In nine grim metaphorical sketches, Bell, the black former Harvard law professor who made headlines recently for his one-man protest against the school's hiring policies, hammers home his controversial theme that white racism is a permanent, indestructible component of our society. Bell's fantasies are often dire and apocalyptic: a new Atlantis rises from the ocean depths, sparking a mass emigration of blacks; white resistance to affirmative action softens following an explosion that kills Harvard's president and all of the school's black professors; intergalactic space invaders promise the U.S. President that they will clean up the environment and deliver tons of gold, but in exchange, the bartering aliens take all African Americans back to their planet. Other pieces deal with black-white romance, a taxi ride through Harlem and job discrimination.
Civil rights lawyer Geneva Crenshaw, the heroine
of Bell's And We Are Not Saved (1987), is back in some of these ominous allegories, which speak from the depths of anger and despair. Bell now teaches at New York University Law School.—Publishers Weekly
Derrick Bell Dies at 80
* * * * *
Salvage the Bones
A Novel by Jesmyn Ward
On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family that’s about to be trashed by one of the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico. Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy. The force that pushes back against Katrina’s inexorable winds is the voice of Ward’s narrator, a 14-year-old girl named Esch, the only daughter among four siblings. Precocious, passionate and sensitive, she speaks almost entirely in phrases soaked in her family’s raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brother’s “blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt.” Her father’s hands “are like gravel,” while her own hand “slides through his grip like a wet fish,” and a handsome boy’s “muscles jabbered like chickens.”
Admittedly, Ward can push so hard on this
simile-obsessed style that her paragraphs risk sounding like a compost heap, but
this isn’t usually just metaphor for metaphor’s sake.
She conveys something fundamental about Esch’s fluid state of mind: her figurative sense of the world in which all things correspond and connect. She and her brothers live in a ramshackle house steeped in grief since their mother died giving birth to her last child. . . . What remains, what’s salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.—
* * * *
Allah, Liberty, and Love
The Courage to Reconcile Faith and Freedom
By Irshad Manji
In Allah, Liberty and Love, Irshad Manji paves a path for Muslims and non-Muslims to transcend the fears that stop so many of us from living with honest-to-God integrity: the fear of offending others in a multicultural world as well as the fear of questioning our own communities. Since publishing her international bestseller, The Trouble with Islam Today, Manji has moved from anger to aspiration. She shows how any of us can reconcile faith with freedom and thus discover the Allah of liberty and love—the universal God that loves us enough to give us choices and the capacity to make them. Among the most visible Muslim reformers of our era, Manji draws on her experience in the trenches to share stories that are deeply poignant, frequently funny and always revealing about these morally confused times. What prevents young Muslims, even in the West, from expressing their need for religious reinterpretation? What scares non-Muslims about openly supporting liberal voices within Islam?
* * * * *
The White Masters of the
The World and Africa, 1965
By W. E. B. Du Bois
W. E. B. Du Bois’
Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization
* * *
Ancient African Nations
* * * * *
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Negro Digest /
Browse all issues
* * * * *
The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan
The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
Only a Pawn in Their Game
Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for
George Jackson /
* * *
The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg
Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804
January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of
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update 3 April