Black Heritage Riders -The Journey of A Modern African American Pioneer
Vol. II

Manhattan, New York- Los Angeles, California,   Tuesday, April 1, 2008

No. 848
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Miles Dean- Short Bio

New York To California Trail Rider
Fee: Please contact for more Info
Mr. Dean Commutes from New Jersey




Arizona Commentary

companion photos

Who’s Land…..Our Land (Part 1)


While through the AMAAP journey, I acknowledge and embrace the African and African American contributions, for over 300 years (1500’s - 1800’s), to the exploration, expansion, and settlement of the United States, the land itself is a constant reminder that culture is wedded to land and land to culture. One-third of Arizona is still in the hands of Indigenous people while much of the other is in court litigation.

It was in Colorado that I first observed the faces of Indigenous people on tee shirts inscribed with the words “Fighting Terrorism since 1492”, “Another reminder that they are the tenants and we, the landlords” says James Riding-In a citizen of the Pawnee Nation and Associate Professor of American Indian Studies at Arizona State University. That thought has become more apparent as I travel through the Southwestern United States.

The present day people of Turtle Island.

When most people speak or read about Native American people, their culture, their traditions, their plight, it is often done from the viewpoint of looking to the past. History books reveal to us, in limited scope, a few of the famous names of those who fought, and often died, whilst trying to protect and ensure that their people, their culture, were not extinguished forever by the rapid advance across America by the white invaders.

   The exploits of those famous warriors, and their people, make fascinating reading. The wholesale murder of innocent women and children in the massacre's of that distant past still make uncomfortable reading today. When one looks upon those weather lined faces depicted in the old black and white photographs, it is hard to understand from where they got their courage, the determination, their fighting spirit, to take on the overwhelming challenges that faced them. But they did.

   And the truth is, you can still see that look of courage, determination and fighting spirit in the faces of their descendants today. For there are still those today who carry on the traditions and the culture that were handed down to them by their forefathers. The present day people of Turtle Island, and Canada, have not finished writing their own page in the history books of tomorrow.

William Purcell (