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Meeting of October 21, 2004

We were fortunate to have as our guest speaker, middle school student Matthew Griffin, dressed in Seminole clothing who told us about the Blacks who fled slavery to become part of the Seminole Nation. Matthew took us from the early 1800's when the Black Seminoles started to the later 1800's when they were driven to Oklahoma with the rest of the Seminoles.

Matthew brought a wealth of materials to help portray the Black Seminoles to us. He had Seminole "dresses", leggings, turbans and various types of weapons. He also had several photograph albums depicting various Seminole re-enactments.

Matthew's great-great- grandfather was a Black Seminole and Matthew became interested in the culture and he performs at several re-enactments around the state. He received an award from the University of Central Florida for a presentation as guest lecturer to the Black/Seminole Relations Course from Dr. Rosalyn Howard. Dr. Howard's book on Black Seminoles in the Bahamas is reviewed here.

Rather than detail Matthew's presentation here, we offer a bibliography taken from the books that he presented for those who want to pursue this unique aspect of American history further.

Native Americans.
An Inside Look at the Tribes and Traditions

Osceola's Legacy
Patricia R. Wickman

D. L. Birchfield

The Story of an American Indian
R. P. Johnson

Eternal Spring
Man's 10,000 year History at Florida's Silver Spring

Arrowheads and Stone Artifacts
C. G. Yeager

Hunted Like a Wolf
The Story of the Seminole Wars
Milton Meltzer

Matthew is shown during his presentation with many of the Seminole items he brought to display.
Part of Matthew's display was this Seminole craft work. He noted that the Seminoles were partial to blue.

Pastfinders thank Matthew for this fine presentation and wish him every success in the future.

Those seeking further information on the subject beyond the books listed can search Google for Black Seminoles and will find a number of sites dedicated to this part of our American history.