u.s. FORESTRY SERVICE’S HERITAGE PROGRAM, RHONDA KIMBROUGH, BRITISH POST/”FORT NEGRO” AND FIXICO
July 27th, 2016 marked the Bicenntenial Anniversary of the 1816 Massacre at British Post on the Apalachicola River in Florida. Today, it is officially designated as a U.S. Historical Landmark better known as “Fort Negro”. The U.S. Forestry Service Heritage Program Manager Rhonda Kimbrough, would never refer to the site as “Fort Negro”. For her in her position, to say this would be extremely pejorative. Why recently President Obama has even signed a Bill that restricts the word “Negro” from being used in any federal contracts.
The word “Negro” in 2016 would not be a welcomed title for most African-Americans. However , for me as a Seminole Maroon Descendant whose Ancestors fought to survive during the year 1816,
the same year, that Fort Negro was attacked by U.S. Troops and their Indian allies, the word is quite appropriate. Fort Negro
was called and known by many other names in it’s history prior to it’s destruction. So why am I so fixated on still calling it the Negro Fort ? If we forget history, we risk repeating it. After all, the military order that came down from the White House and Headquarters ,said :”Destroy the Negro Fort and return the stolen Negros and property to their rightful owners”.
Well the inhabitants, certainly didn’t want to be called stolen Negros and neither did they want to be returned or destroyed. Yet they were called ,they were returned and they were destroyed. Why? Because the Dominant Culture believed that Free Armed Blacks even within the sanctuary of a foreign country’s sovereign borders were worthy of the ultimate punishment. Let us say that President James Madison and General Andrew Jackson, both Slave owners followed their beliefs. We have made much progress in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA since those dark and sinister days. To prove my point, the U.S. Forestry Service the guardians of the historic site upon which the British Post (Fort Negro) once stood represents a government that doesn’t want to destroy or return Negros anywhere.
Today,s U.S, Government is now led by an African-American whose family dwells not within the walls of an embattled fortress but rests comfortable inside the White House. From the top to the bottom a majority of Americans don’t want to insult today’s African-Americans by calling them “NEGROS”.
Finally, on October 22nd 2016, not only will the U.S. Forestry service have a commemorative ceremony of respect to the tragic victims of the Negro Fort, their Heritage Program Manager, an Archaeologist, Rhonda Kimbrough has sought me out and given me permission to participate in the ceremony and to say a few words for the over 200 men women and children “MAROONS”
who gave their full measure in search of Freedom Justice and Equality.
“Through Warm Tears of Gratitude”
Phil “Pompey Bruner” Fixico, Seminole Maroon Descendant