An infuriating article about Indian discrimination against blacks. Did you know that the Cherokees used to keep black slaves? But that after they emancipated them (before the US emancipated its slaves, natch) they were integrated into the tribe and generally regarded as full Indians? Neither did I. Unfortunately, a later US Indian census separated the “black Indians” into a separate category, and that is now being used as the excuse to disenfranchise and exclude their descendants from tribal membership.
Here’s something I never knew:
Galland did more than merely translate: he shaped the text into what became a more or less canonical form; as a result the Nights are as much a part of Western literature as of Arabic. To Western readers, the stories of Aladdin, Ali Baba and Sindbad belong to the core of the Nights and are among the best-known tales; but they did not belong to the Arabic text until Galland added them. There is, in fact, no known Arabic text of the Aladdin and Ali Baba stories that predates Galland, and elements in the story of Aladdin suggest that it may have been a European fairy tale rather than an Arabic one.
This is via Language Hat. Click through to the original article for more fascinating tidbits.