Oh dear, I'm afraid that Native American history class was not giving out completely correct information. I am sure that there were some families of Cherokee descent who claimed to be "Black Dutch" in order to escape the prejudice against Native Americans. But originally the phrase "Black Dutch" just meant someone who was of German descent and had a dark complexion. Later it was expanded to many other people in the Appalachians who had darker complexions, including Melungeons. A similar phrase was "Black Irish". You must remember that when people back in the 18th century used the word "black" in reference to a person or group they were often talking about hair color, not skin color, and there are many people of pure European descent who have black hair.
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