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Black Indians: An American Story - A Rich-Heape Film

“Black Indians: An American Story” (as seen on ABC) brings to light a forgotten part of Americans past – the cultural and racial fusion of Native and African Americans. Narrated by James Earl Jones, “Black Indians: An American Story” explores what brought the two groups together, what drove them apart and the challenges they face today.
# Award of Distinction, Indian Summer Festival 2005
# Cine Golden Eagle 2002
# Crystal Award of Excellence, Communicator Awards 2002
# Best Documentary, Native American Music Awards 2002
# Aurora Gold Award 2001

A society that wants to build the future must know its past, its real past, as it was.” But what if that past had been lost, forgotten, hidden, or denied?

“Black Indians: An American Story,” explores the issue of racial identity among Native and African Americans. This in-depth documentary examines the coalescence of these two groups in American history. Discounted, and often ignored by mainstream America, these minority peoples have often shared a common past. However, with their heritage ignored and their contributions denied they are all but invisible at the dawn of the new millennium.

It was a black and white world in the early days of the Republic and little or no thought was given to people of mixed race, especially if they looked "black.” “We were told ‘if you could pass for white, that's who you'd be; if not, it was usually better to be identified as black than Indian,’" recalls Executive Producer Steven Heape. "It was this kind of thinking that later led to ‘pencil genocide’--changing one’s race on a birth certificate to fit the skin color of the child.” DVD - Running Time 60 minutes

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