John Ross and the Multiracial Identity

As a person passionate about social issues and the representation and liberation of all oppressed folks, John Ross, and his role in U.S. history struck a chord with me. As the film We Shall Remain –  Trail of Tears presented, John Ross was multiracial, being part white and only an eighth Cherokee, but grew up with both American and Cherokee cultures. He struggled between the balance of being a part of both cultures, an experience that reflects many multiracial/multi-ethnic people, yet often gets overlooked when studying the history of America. America today has been dubbed a “melting pot” of culture, with so many people from different backgrounds have come together to create our multiracial nation, but this idea is not something new and deeply rooted in the creation of America. As we have learned, there were many native people already living on these lands when the various European colonizers took over, who even ended up bringing people from other places like Africa. With so many interactions between people, it should not be surprising to hear of the experiences and lives of multiracial people, and yet it can often be seen that these experiences are not told or represented in American history. Though John Ross’s experience is unique and personal to his own as it is with any one person and their identities, his role in history serves to represent one of the many stories of multiracial people living in America and provides representation to those who can identify with his story. His representation is critical as it helps to enforce the idea that multi-racialism is not a new concept and that multiracial folks have had a place in history.



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