The question of what is an Afro-Native is one that many can’t fully understand. It has been brought to our attention many of our supportive readers who identify as Afro-Native or Black Native don’t feel like their stories are heard.
True to our mission, we teamed up with activist, speaker, published writer, community organizer and performer YoNasDa Lonewolf (Oglala Lakota/African American) and Native Education Advocate and Doctoral Student Tomasina Chupco (Seminole/African American) to launch Native Max Afro-Native, an online community and space for positive stories dedicated to Black and Native Americans. Native Max Magazine is devoted to inspiring and entertaining readers while celebrating their indigenous cultures and stories through positive storytelling. Through their platforms and content, Native Max Magazine wants to bring their readers the positive and inspiring side of Indian Country. To our readers and supporters who proudly represent a mixture of indigenous North American and African heritages: the floor is yours.
Throughout the month of July, we’ll be adding stories, personal essays, poems and profiles of Afro-Native people throughout Indian Country to our website.
Quote from founder Kelly Holmes: “Inclusivity and diversity were key factors when I first created Native Max. However, in the last few years, I realized that our readers who identify as Afro-Native American felt they weren’t represented in our publication and website. Now I’m excited to announce that we’re opening up Native Max Afro-Native, a community of positive stories dedicated to our Black and Native brothers and sisters.”
Quote from YoNasDa Lonewolf: “As an enrolled Oglala Lakota tribal member and being half Black as well, I thought it was important for people like me to be recognized. I am a beautiful shade of dark caramel and my late mother Wauneta Lonewolf made sure she raised my brother and me to be proud of our Native and Black (African) culture despite how society may stereotype us. I am so happy that Native Max Magazine collaborated with myself and Tomasina on embracing Native and Black mixed people. Indigenous (Original) people come in all shades and various rich cultures and it should all be celebrated. Pilamaye’ [Thank You in Lakota] Native Max!”
Quote from Tomasina Chupco: “I take pride in being a member of the Seminole tribe. Growing up within my tribal community, I had several hardships about my Black and Native identity. One of them was the fear of not being ‘native enough’. As I have grown up to be the woman I am today, I realized I did not have to pick or choose which one I am, I fully embrace both. I want those who are mix-raced Native Americans to know they have the freedom to choose what they want to identify as. I have competed in Miss Native American USA to show and express that our Native communities are so diverse in shades and beauty. We Black and Native people must be proud of who we are and not ashamed to share our experiences whether good or bad. I am so excited to be working with Native Max Magazine alongside with my sister Yonasda Lonewolf. The Black and Native series has given us the chance to tell our story through our own narrative and I’m loving every bit of it. I want to thank all the participants because, without your stories, none of this would be possible.”
For more information about Native Max Afro-Native or to be featured, please email us at proudblackandnative(at)gmail.com.