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The Seminole and African Collaboration: An Alliance for Survival

“The Seminole and African Collaboration: An Alliance for Survival”is an interdisciplinary curriculum unit for upper middle and high school students that offers a perspective and details often omitted from textbooks surrounding the union of the Seminoles and Gullah (Lowcountry people of African ancestry). The unit is designed to give students an enhanced understanding of the relationships between indigenous peoples of North America and the Africans they encountered in the Southeastern region of the colonial United States. Classroom lessons examine the union between the two groups and the ways in which  their partnerships affected American history utilizing engaging cooperative group activities, video technology and primary source analysis. The unit gives students the opportunity to delve into the lives of the great Seminole leaders and their chief commanders of African descent, the cultural exchanges that occurred between the two groups, and the causes for their  collaboration and their military and agricultural alliances. Students will examine how this cooperation within the context of war enabled black and Native peoples to strategically challenge and resist their oppressors.  Students will engage in Socratic Circle dialogue that will allow them to analyze questions such as : What is an alliance? Why are alliances created? Who do we choose to align ourselves with? Why do we dissolve our alliances? Who benefits from alliances? and How are alliances negotiated?  Additionally, the unit will serve as a tool to getstudents thinking about- “What is rebellion?” andwill open up discussion about the ways in which alliances  affect our communities, governments and international affairs. A culminating exercise will assess student understanding of the alliances that ultimately created a distinctive category of freedom fighters - the Black Seminoles.

Keysiah M. Middleton

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