Indian River Hundred Speck Summary

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Nevertheless, Speck’s arrival in Indian River Hundred proved particularly fortuitous for the Nanticoke, who were at the time facing new challenges to their collective identity. Despite the 1881 law that established a tripartite school system, the county appointed a black teacher to work at the Warwick School in the 1910s and several black children were enrolled soon after. A group of Nanticoke responded unfavorably to these turn of events. After withdrawing their children from the Warwick school the parents helped to set up a third school in Indian River Hundred called the Indian Mission School. Eventually white neighbors started to exert pressure on the all the Nanticoke to accept classification as “Negroes.” Under the direction of William …show more content…
Unlike the Ramapo, who Speck accused of lacking a conscious self-identity, the Delaware Nanticoke maintained a strong collective consciousness. The exclusivity maintained by prohibiting intermarriage with their black neighbors was just one of many barriers set up to protect the group from outside influence. Thus, social standing, group consciousness, and most importantly a willingness to preserve this group consciousness also powerfully influenced Speck’s willingness to advocate on a community’s behalf. Speck’s research is also instructive for what it reveals about his promotion of “authentic” versus “inauthentic” Indian identity. Although he did not use the terms, Speck’s anthropological research established the criteria by which social scientists as well as the government agencies could determine who qualified as a “real” India. Speck determined which cultures were worthy of study and which were not. In so doing, he established the measures by which to bound the parameters of American Indian

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