I am from Gainesville, Florida- a small college town in North Central Florida within the county of Alachua. These are mundane factual tidbits that reveal a layered history that I’ve only recently discovered. While I had cursory knowledge of the refuge that Florida provided to black slaves, I had no idea that one of the state’s most venerated Native figures (Osceola) was a multi-racial person of Native, European and African ancestry who married a Black woman. Nor was I aware of the strategic and cultural role blacks played in the development of Seminole tribal politics. “After 1858, the Black Seminoles had their greatest impact on U.S. history when their story reached a national audience with the publication of Joshua Reed Giddings' The Exiles of Florida. Their history furnished President Lincoln a legal precedent for the wider emancipation of black militants in 1863.” Black Seminoles, John Horse (Gopher John) and Abraham, were complete unknowns to me until January 2010. I am angered by my ignorance, but I am even more incensed by the fact that my mandatory Florida History classes were so blatantly disrespectful of a rich cultural history that I may claim as my own. So, in rebellion, I wish to create a visual weapon to incite a conceptual uprising, a rally against this invisibility.
Black Seminoles, Maroons and Freedom Seekers in Florida
Natural and Historic Sites in Alachua County
Seminole Tribe of Florida
Chapter 6: Primitive and modernized North American Indians
Nutrition and Physical Degeneration
Black Seminole Indians
John Horse and the Black Seminoles, First Black Rebels to Beat American Slavery