"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." ~Maya Angelou


Afro Native Narratives is a body of work that looks to explore and assist in the preservation of Black Native Identity through the mediums of portrait photography and video documentary. Questions around contemporary issues like how culture differs from DNA and how that affects the blood quantum, and what the future of mixed raced identity is in rapidly changing America. We aim to bring back and continue the discussion of Black Native Identity to the forefront and bring forward the faces of Black Natives who continue to embrace their traditions. We are looking to interview people and are concentrating in the Bay Area, California right now but we are looking to expand in the near future to other locations in the U.S. If you are interested in being part of Afro Native Narratives, fill out the form below or email us at documentary [at] iloveancestry.com.

Since the time that Christopher Columbus began the slave trade in the Caribbean, enslaved Africans looked towards the indigenous Native tribes of the America’s for refuge. From these unions a singular identity was formed that was distinct from its parents, being both African and Native. These groups were marginalized at higher rates than their parents and have been virtually wiped from historical records and were forced to choose a side or have one chosen for them.

Once the slave trade made it’s way to the Americas, that refuge became a necessity for both Native and enslaved Africans. Both races intermingled and married into and adopted each other’s culture. After time, due to racist lawmaking policies, Black Natives came to be less acknowledged and accepted and some neglected one side or the other to avoid being singled out. Black Natives who have persevered are proud of their heritage and their traditions. Most continue to embrace their culture and continue to carry on their traditions, and passing them on through generations.

 

"Inside of you is a story that the world needs to hear"

Want to be part of our documentary? We value your voice and would love to include you in documentary Afro Native Narratives. Releasing our own stories is a powerful experience that can serve as a form of liberation for other people who have had similar stories. That is the amazing thing about sharing stories...we soon realize we are not alone. We are looking to interview people and are concentrating in the Bay Area, California right now but we are looking to expand in the near future to other locations in the U.S.

If you are interested in being part of Afro Native Narratives, fill out the form below or email us at  documentary [at] iloveancestry.com. Please do not forget to include the city and state you live in. Thank you.

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"It takes teamwork to make the dream work"

Macha Rose is currently the creative director at hip-hop.com and a freelance videographer. She graduated from San Francisco State with a science degree, but while on campus learned her love for film and African American studies. She is a Bay Area native and is currently working with Michael Santiago on three concurrent documentaries about black identity. Her work focuses on stories from the diaspora, staring with Black Natives, Black Cowboys and Black Latinos, with more to explore.

Visit Macha's website

Michael Santiago is a Doc. photographer based between New York and Oakland, CA. Michael’s work focuses on issues concerning people of color and their communities; obesity, cancer, race and identity, family relationships, healthy eating, youth empowerment and more. A senior at San Francisco Art Institute, he studies Documentary Photography and brings a strong cultural awareness to his work. His long term projects “A Promise”, “250” and “Michael” have won several awards, even news media recognition.

Visit Michael's website


Adrian Heckstall is the founder of ‘I Love Ancestry’ and a conscious, meticulous and thoughtful advocate for the rights of marginalized people and indigenous communities. As a creative trilingual digital marketing professional, Adrian's commitment to the work on race and intra-race relations as well as social justice and human rights is unparalleled. After volunteering to provide food assistance on the ground in Haiti a week after the earthquake of January 12, 2010, Adrian started to shift his professional career interest as a digital & social media advocate with a strong desire to make a difference, one person at a time.