Carolina was so called by the French, in 1563 or 1564, in honor of Charles IX, King of France (Carolus in Latin, meaning Charles), under whose patronage its coast was “discovered”. The territory thus named afterwards included the lands between the 30th and 36th degrees of north latitude, and extended from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific.
Our families who were free people of color from Virginia and North Carolina, reveal a facet of American colonial history previously overlooked by historians. Our families were free in the mid-seventeenth century and had several hundred members before the end of the colonial period who were called tri-racial because of the Native American, African and English mix of the families.
Black Indians are people of African-American descent, usually with significant Native American ancestry, who also have strong ties to Native American culture, social, and historical traditions. Many Indigenous peoples of the Eastern Woodlands today have extensive African descent, such as the Narragansett, Pequot, Lumbee, Waccamaw-Siouan and others.