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“Too Light to Be Black, Too Dark to Be White”: Redefining Occaneechi Identity through Community Education

“Too Light to Be Black, Too Dark to Be White”: Redefining Occaneechi Identity through Community... "Too Light to Be Black, Too Dark to Be White" Redefining Occaneechi Identity through Community Education lesley m. graybeal The state of North Carolina is home to the largest contemporary population of American Indian people east of the Mississippi River, and among this population the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation is one of the smallest tribes, counting approximately seven hundred members who reside primarily in Alamance and Orange Counties. The Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation is also one of the most recently recognized tribes by the state of North Carolina. The tribe reorganized in 1984 as the Eno-Occaneechi Indian Association and received recognition from the state of North Carolina only in 2002, following a long legal battle with the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs. Many of the present-day tribal members recalled knowing little of their American Indian heritage as children and being encouraged not to speak of it in public; as such, members of the reorganized tribe have devoted much effort to recovering historical information about the Occaneechis, displaying this information to the local community, and strengthening their American Indian identities. In 2004, the tribe created the Homeland Preservation Project--an open-air museum consisting of a http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Native South University of Nebraska Press

“Too Light to Be Black, Too Dark to Be White”: Redefining Occaneechi Identity through Community Education

Native South , Volume 5 (1) – Aug 19, 2012

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
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Copyright © University of Nebraska Press
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2152-4025
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Abstract

"Too Light to Be Black, Too Dark to Be White" Redefining Occaneechi Identity through Community Education lesley m. graybeal The state of North Carolina is home to the largest contemporary population of American Indian people east of the Mississippi River, and among this population the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation is one of the smallest tribes, counting approximately seven hundred members who reside primarily in Alamance and Orange Counties. The Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation is also one of the most recently recognized tribes by the state of North Carolina. The tribe reorganized in 1984 as the Eno-Occaneechi Indian Association and received recognition from the state of North Carolina only in 2002, following a long legal battle with the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs. Many of the present-day tribal members recalled knowing little of their American Indian heritage as children and being encouraged not to speak of it in public; as such, members of the reorganized tribe have devoted much effort to recovering historical information about the Occaneechis, displaying this information to the local community, and strengthening their American Indian identities. In 2004, the tribe created the Homeland Preservation Project--an open-air museum consisting of a

Journal

Native SouthUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Aug 19, 2012

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