Category Archives: Black Patriot

Repairing Erasure: Indigenous Identity and Paper Genocide

 The names of Kitchawan (Wappinger Federation) Black Patriots, Isaac Sharp, Absalom Moony/Money, John Moony/Money, are ERASED NO MORE. We thank them, and their descendants,  for their service to this country. Decolonizing the archives is how we, the descendant’s of enslaved and Free People of Color,  repair historic accounts of our ancestors and write them back into history. It can be done.  Thank you, Cousin Billie, I am sharing your ancestral story with me and allowing me to pick up your research where you left off. I know your ancestors are rejoicing now. Praise be to them in the highest. 

This article is a more extensive version of the “Repairing Erasure: Indigenous Identity and Paper Genocide” webinar I gave on October 19, 2023, at the 2023 National Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society’s Conference Hiding in Plain Sight: Recovering the Erased Histories of our Ancestors in the United States and the Caribbean.

As a descendant of the Munsee Lenape, early Afro-Dutch settlers, and some of the first Africans hailing from Central, West Africa and Madagascar who arrived in New Amsterdam during the early 1600s, I’ve had the privilege of bearing witness to the systematic erasure of my ancestors from history, a tragic narrative that continues to persist throughout the ongoing settler colonial project. The overarching goal of settler colonialism has consistently revolved around replacing the original inhabitants of Lenapehoking with waves of settlers who, in substantial numbers, arrived in the early 1600s, solidifying and imposing their distinct national identity and notions of sovereignty. This nefarious process, marked by genocide, enslavement, dispossession, and coupled with the insidious practice of paper genocide, has tragically contributed to perpetuating the mistaken belief that the people of Lenapehoking were rendered extinct.

“Repairing Erasure: Indigenous Identity and Paper Genocide ” can be read here: VegaTeresaRepairing ErasureIndigenousIdentityandPaperGenocideAAHGSJournal 2024_Winter_



A Revolutionary Breakthrough: Discovering Our Van Salee Lineage

Over the past few years, my cousin Andrea and I have made some remarkable discoveries that have taken one of our family lines directly back to New Amsterdam. On June 28, 2023, my first article was published in The Journal of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society. You can click here to read it: A Revolutionary Breakthrough_Discovering Our Van Salee Lineage_Teresa Vega

For those wanting to know more about the Munsee and African presence in New Amsterdam/Colonial New York, please consider taking this Walking Tour  that Russell Shorto has put together. I was happy to see Manuel Plaza, named after my 9th great-grandfather, Manuel de Gerritt de Reus, on this list.