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The Black Seminoles of Red Bays, Andros Island, The Bahamas

In the first blog on the upcoming excursion to Andros, The Bahamas, in July, 2024, I gave an overview of what one can look forward to during a week-long exploration of a few of the abundance of natural resources Andros has to offer. Now I would like to double back, to expose my readers to more up-close details, and why I have chosen to begin this journey in Red Bays, Andros, home of the Black Seminoles.

So, you're probably asking yourself, "Who are the Black Seminoles?" The Black Seminoles are African slaves, who were fueled by a deep yearning for freedom, who ventured into the depths of Florida, and encountered the Seminoles, Florida Indians, who, in the 1770s became known as Seminole, a name meaning "wild people" or "runaway." The Black Seminoles found refuge, a community, a deep sense of belonging among the Seminoles, and a shared purpose to live free.

They became an inseparable thread in the Seminoles' vibrant cultural tapestry, as poetically described by Professor Darius, in "The Untold Story of Black Seminole Alliances." The African slaves integrated with the Seminoles and became a part of the Seminole community, adopting Seminole attire, participated in their ceremonies, and even entered into marital unions with them. The coexistence of the Seminoles and the African slaves was a genuine cultural fusion, a melding of traditions and histories.

In 1842, the United States Army forcibly removed the Black Seminoles from the Florida Everglades, along with their Indian comrades, to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) in the unsettled West. The Black Seminoles, exiled from their Florida strongholds, were forced to continue their struggle for freedom on the Western frontier. A tenacious people, they found refuge on Andros, the largest of the islands of The Bahamas, where the ancestors of the Black Seminoles presently live.

One can never know every bit of their history, but you will have the opportunity to emerge yourself into some very intimate aspects of Black Seminole culture in this trip of a lifetime to The Bahamas, my homeland, Andros Island. To give you a preview of what you will experience in July, I've located a couple of videos for you to grasp a little bit of what you'll see on this excursion.

Photos sourced from the following videos as well:

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