Along the Robeson Trail (column)

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Knick, Stanley. “Along the Robeson Trail (column).” Carolina Indian Voice 24 December 1998:3.


Useful and informative discussion of the stereotype that Indians should all look alike and that you can tell by physical appearance whether a person is Indian. Notes that “most anthropologists have hoped for decades that such discussion had finally come to an end.” Calls it “an old and essentially racist idea” that physical features are “a consistently reliable determinant of Indianness.” Human populations are quite variable, and there is more variation within one “race” than between two “races.” Knick asserts, “It was never true that all Native Americans looked alike.” It is even less true now that genes from non-Native sources have mixed in with the Native gene pool. He questions the fairness of expecting Native Americans to prove their identity by having certain physical features when, for example, people have no difficulty accepting both Italians and Norwegians, who look very different from each other, as white.

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