Posts Tagged: Native Americans
Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad won the National Book Award on Wednesday night. In his acceptance speech he told us, “We’re happy in here; outside is the blasted hellhole wasteland of Trumpland. Be kind to everybody. Make art and fight the power.”
Not only was this apt for the evening, but it also describes the landscape of his novel, which presents us with several different Americas, including the diverse, literary America he was referring to....more
Over at the North American Review, Heid E. Erdrich writes about the forthcoming New Poets of Native Nations. The collection, which will be published by Graywolf Press in 2018, will feature works from “21 poets whose first books were published in the 21st century and who are members/citizen or descendants with status of indigenous/Native American/Alaskan Native nations.”...more
Protecting the Water. Mni Wiconi. Water is Life.
Over the last few weeks, thousands of Indigenous people, representing hundreds of tribes, have gathered together on the banks of the Cannonball River, on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota, and in other places, to protect the lands, and the waters, and their sacred sites, against the $3.4 billion Dakota Access Pipeline....more
At Lit Hub, an excerpt from a vivid, metaphor-rich conversation that appears in the spring issue of BOMB Magazine in which Christopher Sorrentino calls the novel an “impoverished count, living in a ransacked villa, dressing for dinner every day,” while Dana Spiotta’s novel is a “derelict who rants about end times to passersby, mostly ignored but still making people uncomfortable.”...more
Since the Harry Potter series ended, the Potter universe has continued to expand with tie-in books and lore published on the website Pottermore. However, Rowling’s magic-based historical revisionism was challenged this week by Native American activists responding to her latest post....more
One of the goals of the Fresh Comics series is to shine some light on superb works of comic storytelling. Another is to look a little deeper into the content of these superb comics and to ask “fresh” questions about them....more
The loose and infectious melody of “Hey Pocky A-Way” has been covered and re-recorded many times since its first release in 1974 by New Orleans funk heavyweights The Meters. The highly recognizable chorus–which reputedly stems from early Native American dialects in the region that would come to cradle New Orleans–has lost most of its linguistic meaning, but none of its emotional acuity....more
In the midst of debate surrounding the Washington Redskins’s trademark cancellation, linguist Geoffrey Nunberg reminds us that a word is never completely free of its etymology. Rooted in a tradition of spectacle and minstrelsy, the use of a racial slur to market a football team not only perpetuates harmful, dated stereotypes but also denies Native Americans the right to reclaim their history through language:
Of all the things that defenders the name have said, there’s nothing to touch the effrontery of Raskopf’s assertion “This is our word”—as if the team had the power to pluck the word out of history, both theirs and its own, and oblige everyone, Indians included, to honor their meaning of the word.
Sherman Alexie always loved to read, but it never occurred to him that he—or any other Native American, for that matter—could become a writer.
That all changed when he read a poem by Adrian C. Louis and came to the following line: “O Uncle Adrian!...more
Like a heist movie, the essay introduces the players (an Alaska Native educator and two games developers), sets up the stakes (the stereotypes of Native Americans that saturate the media), and then delivers the goods: the game they created together, about a young girl surviving in the Arctic....more
I met Grace Smith (Yup’ik) when I was researching an article for The Circle, a Native American newspaper in the Twin Cities.
The Native community in the Twin Cities is very complex, with people from many different tribes and nations....more