Book studies Turkish, Melungeon links
by Robert Baird
A new book by Brent Kennedy and Joseph Scolnick Jr. sheds some light on a neglected area of U.S. history – the migration for centuries of Turkish people to America. The book also explores where the Ottoman Empire and Turkey fit in the history and culture of the Melungeon people and their descendants. The authors and their book, “From Anatolia to Appalachia: A Turkish-American Dialogue,” were featured during last month’s Fifth Union Melungeon Gathering held here. There’s evidence of a connection between Melungeons, Turkey and the Ottoman Empire, Scolnick says. “The Melungeons are apparently mixtures of Caucasian, Native Americans, and Blacks, who as well have genetic links to the entire Mediterranean area, plus, in some instances, Anatolia (the heartland of Turkey), the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Northern India,” Scolnick wrote in the book.
The fascinating history of Melungeons can be found in many books and websites. A sampling is available here and here. Also, The Multiracial Activist has an e-book on the topic available here.