Washitaw Nation

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The Washitaw Nation, or Washitaw de Dugdahmoundyah, is a group of Black Americans that claim to be a sovereign Native American nation within the boundaries of the United States.[1] Their name is taken from that of the Ouachita tribe,[2] who are also eponymous of the Washita River and of Washita, Oklahoma.

The group was headed by Verdiacee Hampton Goston (a.k.a. Verdiacee Turner, a.k.a. Empress Verdiacee Tiari Washitaw Turner Goston El-Bey, ca. 1927–2014[3]). She was mayor of Richwood, Louisiana twice, in 1975–76 and 1980–84.[citation needed] She is the author of the self-published book Return of the Ancient Ones (1993). Goston asserts that the United Nations "registers the Washitaw as indigenous people No. 215".[2]

In 1999, the Southern Poverty Law Center estimated the group had about 200 hard-core members, noting its popularity among followers of Moorish Science, an older black nationalist movement. The asserted legal basis for the establishment of the Washitaw Nation is a theory that individuals and groups may declare "sovereignty" and separate from state and federal governments, a concept earlier used by the Posse Comitatus. The argument is also made that Napoleon only sold "the streets of New Orleans and a military barracks" and that the rest of Louisiana was stolen from the Washitaw.[2]

Various United States courts have held that the Washitaw Nation is fictional and that it is not recognized as a sovereign nation.[4]

The Washitaw Nation is the accrediting agent for a diploma mill, the City University of Los Angeles.[5][6]


  1. ^ Barton, Paul. “Ancient Africans in recent America”, New African, 1 October 2004.
  2. ^ a b c "Born on the Bayou", Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Report, Spring 1999.
  3. ^ "Former Richwood mayor dies". KNOE.com. 
  4. ^ Ernest Joseph Davis, Plaintiff, v. United States Of America, Et Al., Defendants, Case No. 2:08-cv-246 United States District Court, Eastern District Of Michigan, Southern Division, July 19, 2010.
  5. ^ Bear, John; Mariah Bear (2002). Bears' guide to earning degrees by distance learning. Ten Speed Press. p. 195. ISBN 978-1-58008-431-4. 
  6. ^ Burgin, Aaron (September 19, 2008). "Lake Elsinore City Council candidate's doctorate from online school accredited by separatists". The Press Enterprise. 

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