Ideas for writing your African American/Native American essay...

QUOTATIONS:

Black Elk Oglala Sioux Holy Man, 1863-1950

You have noticed that everything as Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round..... The Sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nest in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours....

Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves.


Lone Man (Isna-la-wica) Teton Sioux

... I have seen that in any great undertaking it is not enough for a man to depend simply upon himself.


Tecumseh Shawnee

"Where today are the Pequot? Where are the Narragansett, the Mohican, the Pokanoket, and many other once powerful tribes of our people? They have vanished before the avarice and the oppression of the White Man, as snow before a summer sun.

"Will we let ourselves be destroyed in our turn without a struggle, give up our homes, our country bequeathed to us by the Great Spirit, the graves of our dead and everything that is dear and sacred to us? I know you will cry with me, 'Never! Never!'"


From Black Hawk, Sauk

"How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right."


From Chief Joseph, Nez Perces

"If the white man wants to live in peace with the Indian, he can live in peace.....Treat all men alike. Give them all the same law. Give them all an even chance to live and grow. All men were made by the same Great Spirit Chief. They are all brothers. The Earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it.......Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade....where I choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to think and talk and act for myself, and I will obey every law, or submit to the penalty."

 

QUESTIONS:

How can you account for the fact that white Americans worked to integrate Native Americans into white culture while they were intentionally segregating African Americans?

During the 19th and early 20th Centuries, why did white Americans or the U.S. government have such difficulty answering the "Indian question?"

Is progress for Native Americans possible without a complete loss of culture? Is cultural erosion a necessary component of modernization?

 

DOCUMENTS

Social Darwinism

Gospel of Wealth

White Man's Burden

Types and Development of Man, 1904 World's Fair