COLONIALISM: HOW AND WHY THE MAJORITY OF THE DESCENDANTS OF THE WOODLAND INDIANS OF NORTH AMERICA (TODAY’S SO-CALLED AFRICAN AMERICANS) DID NOT RETAIN AND DO NOT SPEAK THEIR ORIGINAL INDIGENOUS AMERICAN LANGUAGES TODAY…
The answer to the question stated can be found throughout the historical colonial records. Yet, this question seems to always be a “go to” for those who attempt to discredit the inherent descendants of the many Indigenous Woodland tribes that inhabited the territories East of the Mississippi River to the Atlantic coast of North America. The ancestors of the Indian Nations from the lands that the earliest Europeans called Aboriginal America.
A Fact that is not mentioned or recorded in any of the historical texts that indoctrinated compulsory educations teaches is the Millions of Indigenous American People that were enslaved and subjugated during the colonial periods of slavery in North America; particularly in the territories East of the Mississippi to the Atlantic coast. The Historical Record of the enslavement and subjugation of these Millions of Indigenous American people is documented in various accounts by Europeans from as early as the 1500’s. A point that is also important to note is that these accounts predate the History and the first mention of any import of subjugated Africans in North America.
THE AMERICAN INDIAN IS THE NEGRO
In 1509, the Indigenous Brazilians were called Negros de Terra; meaning “Blacks of the Land” over a century Before any Africans were ever imported into the Americas. In 1524, Giovanni da Verrazzano was a Florentine explorer of North America, in the service of King Francis I of France. He is renowned as the first European to explore the Atlantic coast of North America between Florida and New Brunswick, including New York Bay and Narragansett Bay. Verrazanno stated that the Carolina coast people were of the color Russet (reddish brown) and not much unlike the Saracens (Ethiopians). From 1549 through 1565 the Jesuit missionary letters and Conquistador journals frequently referred to the Indigenous Americans as Negroes.
Girolamo Benzoni was an Italian Conquistador and Merchant who wrote a popular account of his travels. In the 1550’s, Benzoni tells us in his day that American captives were being traded for wine, flour, biscuits and other merchandise, even including women made pregnant by the captors. After the Pequot and English War in New England many Indigenous American prisoners were enslaved and sold. In 1638 many American slaves were sold to the West indies. Indians believed to be hostile were shipped away to slave markets of the West Indies, Spain and the Mediterranean. New England saw a large number of Pequots, Narrangansetts and other Indigenous American tribes sold in 1638, and in the period from 1676 to 1683 many were sent to Tangiers, Morocco in Africa.
After 1670, South Carolina became a major exporter of American slaves, depopulating Florida in the process. This practice continued well into the 1800’s when Nathan Bedford Forrest was a profitable slave importer of Negroes from the Carolinas. Forrest ran ads for “Dealers in Slaves” in Memphis, Tennessee for the sale of imported Indigenous American People from the Carolinas; which he boasted that he would be “in the regular receipt of these Negroes from North and South Carolina.” 😳
According to the author of America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America, Brett Rushforth states: between 2 million to 4 million Indigenous American People were enslaved in the Americas.
“If you go up to about 1680 or 1690 there still, by that period, HAD BEEN MORE ENSLAVED INDIANS THAN ENSLAVED AFRICANS in the Americas.” 👀
It is important to note that in comparison to the 2 million to 4 million Indigenous American People that were enslaved, according to Slavevoyages.com a total of 305,326 Africans were brought to North American during the entire span of the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade. 🤔
Professor Brett Rushforth of the University of Oregon works with graduates in the fields of Comparative Slavery, Early American and Native American History. Rushforth further states that the Caribbean was also the destination for Pequots and Wampanoags who were sold into slavery following King Philip’s War in the 1600’s. Members of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation of Connecticut and the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Massachusetts still maintain ties to Bermuda, where some of their descendants live, and an annual Powwow celebrates those ties. https://www.facebook.com/mashpeewampanoagpowwow/
In the British colonies, John Eliot of the Massachusetts Bay Colony translated the Bible into the Algonquin or Massachusett language, also called Wampanoag, or Natick. Eliot studied the Algonquin language for years and then in 1663 Eliot published the first Bible ever printed in North America. The Eliot Indian Bible was written in the Algonquin language and it was the Only published Bible in America for a century before the Bible was first published in English in the late 1700’s. Thus, in 1663 John Eliot began preaching Christianity to the Algonquin tribes in their native language. Let me also note that John Eliot also stated that he knew of a case in which a vessel filled with Indian prisoners was unloaded in Tangiers in North Africa, were they were still living in 1683.
WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES
During the Colonization of North America, the Europeans suppressed and forbid the use of indigenous American languages, establishing their own European languages for official communications, and Europeans destroyed the texts that were written in Indigenous languages for good measure. As colonialism progressed and colonies were established, millions of Indigenous American people became Prisoners of War from the multiple European military conquests that are known as the American Indian Wars. Between 1622 and the late 19th century, a series of wars known as the American-Indian Wars took place between American Indians and European settlers. The purpose of these wars was mainly over land control and the subjugation of Millions of Indigenous American People.
In 1682 in the colony of Virginia, Europeans created and enforced laws that limited and restricted the rights and liberties of Indigenous American People and classified them as Negroes, subject to be “Taken as Slaves.” This all followed a century of the countless massacres and slaughters of the Indigenous American People inhabiting the colonial territories from the 1600’s through the 1700’s. Massacres and slaughters that often eradicated the Chiefs and Elders of the tribes, killing off the Keepers of the Histories and the languages of the Indigenous American People, and destroying the cultural and linguistic ties to the memory of these ancestors.
As a result, Indigenous American languages suffered from cultural suppression and loss of speakers. Compound that with the Fact that all enslaved Indigenous American People were forbidden to speak their Indigenous languages and Native Tongues in captivity and subjugation. Then factor in entire groups of Indigenous American People inhabiting a territory in North America being shipped off and exchanged for an entirely different group of Indigenous American People from the Caribbeans or South America, and vice versa. Indigenous American People from North to Central to South America and the West Indies were routinely exchanged for each other, and the Indigenous languages were scattered away like the People. By the 18th and 19th centuries, Spanish, English, Portuguese, French, and Dutch, brought to the Americas by European settlers and administrators, had become the official or national languages of modern nation-states of the Americas.
So, in conclusion the reason why the inherent descendants of the many Indigenous Woodland Indian tribes that inhabited the territories East of the Mississippi River to the Atlantic coast of North America, who are so-called and known by the misnomer of African Americans today have lost their Indigenous languages is by the same way that they have lost their Identity…through Colonization. It is well documented that European slave holders beat and mutilated the indigenous languages out of their enslaved American Indians that they reclassified as Negroes, and they forced these enslaved Negroes to speak their European language.
After a few generations of this, the Indigenous languages of these American Indians reclassified as Negroes was lost. This occurred throughout the Colonial territories that were located East of the Mississippi River before the Western Expansion of North America that explored the lands West of the Mississippi River from 1807 to 1910…and this is something that so-called Native Americans have No History of.
Many of the Athabaskan Na-Dené language speaking so-called Native Americans such as the Navajo and the Apache speak a language that derives from the Yeniseian people of Siberia. These Athabaskan Siberian Yeniseian speaking so-called Native American tribes still have their Native Siberian languages because they weren’t warred upon by the Europeans until the 1800’s…After the Western Expansion of North America. Furthermore, the U.S. Military encountered the Navajo in 1846. 🤨
So, it doesn’t take much to see how a group of People can lose their Indigenous languages after several generations of it being deliberately and systematically removed from the People.