Red Bird, Red Power: The Life and Legacy of Zitkala-Ša by Tadeusz Lewandowski

By Tadeusz Lewandowski

Red chook, crimson Power tells the tale of 1 of the main influential—and controversial—American Indian activists of the 20th century. Zitkala-Ša (1876–1938), sometimes called Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, used to be a hugely proficient author, editor, and musician who devoted her existence to reaching justice for local peoples. the following, Tadeusz Lewandowski deals the 1st full-scale biography of the lady whose passionate dedication to bettering the lives of her humans propelled her to the vanguard of Progressive-era reform movements.

Lewandowski attracts on an unlimited array of assets, together with formerly unpublished letters and diaries, to recount Zitkala-Ša’s designated existence trip. Her tale starts off at the Dakota plains, the place she was once born to a Yankton Sioux mom and a white father. Zitkala-Ša, whose identify interprets as “Red chook” in English, left domestic at age 8 to wait a Quaker boarding tuition, ultimately operating as a instructor at Carlisle Indian business institution. by way of her early twenties, she was once the toast of East Coast literary society. Her brief tales for the Atlantic Monthly (1900) are, to at the present time, the point of interest of scholarly research and debate. In collaboration with William F. Hanson, she wrote the libretto and songs for the cutting edge Sun Dance Opera (1913).

And but, as Lewandowski demonstrates, Zitkala-Ša’s successes couldn't fill the void of her misplaced cultural history, nor hose down her fury towards the Euro-American institution that had robbed her humans in their land. In 1926, she based the nationwide Council of yank Indians with the purpose of redressing American Indian grievances.

Zitkala-Ša’s advanced identification has made her an intriguing—if elusive—subject for students. In Lewandowski’s delicate interpretation, she emerges as a multifaceted person whose paintings entailed consistent negotiation. in spite of everything, Lewandowski argues, Zitkala-Ša’s achievements distinguish her as a forerunner of the crimson energy circulation and a tremendous agent of change.

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