Seminole Maroons descendants, Fixico said, come from free black and fugitive slaves who settled in Florida after having escaped slavery by forming alliances with Native Americans. (“Some descendants take issue with the term ‘Seminole Maroon descendant’ because they feel it makes them less Indian to be connected to Africa,” he later said in an e-mail. Some prefer to use the terms Seminole, black Seminole or Seminole of color. There are also others who contend that some Seminole Maroons were never slaves).
To understand why he calls himself a Seminole-Maroon descendant is a long story that he pieced together through research.
“I don’t call myself black,” said Fixico, who is one-eighth Seminole Indian, one-fourth Cherokee Freedman, one-fourth Seminole Freedman, one-fourth mulatto and one-eighth Creek Freedman, according to a Smithsonian researcher. “The reason I don’t say black is because that doesn’t really describe the nuances of who I am. I’m a shade of black, a flavor of black.
“When someone asks, ‘Are you black?’ it gives me pause. I can’t take the same credit as someone coming out of Africa who is pure. I can’t take their same degree of blackness.”
To be clear, Fixico doesn’t have a problem with being called black or with black people.
“It’s not that I don’t want to be black,” said Fixico, who explained his mother was African and Cherokee and his father African and Seminole. “I’ve been the product of a mixture. The one-drop rule says I’m black as anybody.
“Under America’s concept of black, I’m black. But when I look at it as my own sense of self, I’m a flavor of black.”
Fixico, the grandson of Pompey Fixico, whose parents were a pure Seminole woman and a Seminole Maroon, has admittedly become a passionate advocate for positive relations between Seminoles and Seminoles of color.
At a recent Black History Month celebration at the AC Bilbrew Public Library in Los Angeles, Fixico, who created a Seminole Maroon Peace Belt to “promote positive thinking,” spoke openly about his life before an audience.