ANP 320 Final Exam Paper - Elisabeth Platz 1 Exam 3 ANP 320...

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Elisabeth Platz 1 Exam 3 ANP 320 Elisabeth Platz December 12, 2007
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Elisabeth Platz 2 1. In order to understand how the Cherokee freedmen continue to be one of the most marginalized groups in Native North America, Circe Sturm decided to seek the perspectives of contemporary freedmen. She analyzed their insights along with the local political dynamics of the Cherokee Nation to shed light on a issue that many people have tried to keep hidden. Sturm observed what she called “racial hegemony” and “contradictory consciousness” among the Cherokee. She examined the extraordinary impact the issues of blood, color, race, and culture have on the way Cherokee identity has come to be defined. She explores why Cherokee identity has evolved to be socially and politically focused on these hegemonic notions, particularly looking at the extreme role blood has had in the formation of these identities. She discovered that there is a lot of history behind the way Cherokee identity is viewed today. It goes back to the history of slavery in the United States. During the times of slavery, Cherokees had slaves along with the European settlers. Due to various reasons, such as infidelity among slave owners, Cherokee, European, and African blood became mixed in all ways. Sturm believes that the racial ideologies and the way blacks have been viewed in our society as a nation has directly impacted the divide between Cherokee citizens and Cherokee freedmen. Cherokee citizens have even been said to have pride in their lighter skin.
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Elisabeth Platz 3 Through several different legal and political actions over the years since slavery, the Cherokee tribe has placed a great emphasis on the actual amount of Cherokee blood each person has. They have come to correlate the amount of Cherokee blood a person has to how “Cherokee” they actually are. They have made a great effort to separate themselves from Cherokee freedmen greatly because of their darker skin. A Cherokee with European blood does not have to face the same level of social and political exclusion as a Cherokee with African blood, and it is mainly for the simple reason that it is easier to see a person’s “blackness” than a person’s “whiteness”. Her study shows how the Cherokee people and their culture and identities have been influenced greatly by society as a whole. The Cherokees followed the example of Americans while dealing with the aftermath of slavery in the United States, which caused them to see blood, race, color, and culture as central to the formation of their culture’s identity. It is sad to say, but different events throughout history since slavery have shown that Cherokees have been looking to Americans to see how to treat blacks and we’ve obviously been leading as a bad example.
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Elisabeth Platz 4 2.
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