In an essay published in The Western Journal of Black Studies (1977) I pointed out that while for many years the study of relations between blacks and Native Americans had been neglected by historians and other scholars, recent studies had acknowledged that red folk and black often influenced one another. What I did not point out was that, for the United States. studies of tri-racial contact were almost nonexistent. Things were quite different in studies of Latin America where the realities of social and sexual contact among all three races were reflected not only in works by historians but in those of anthropologists and others. Unfortunately, students of the United States and the 13 colonies that preceded its formation have, until recently, tended to focus either on black/white relations or on relations between whites and Amerindians. Seldom have they coped with the complex reality that all three races were present from the seventeenth century English settlements on. To discuss only one race or the relations between any two is to distort the past.


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