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Just like last week, you can approach this reading list in whatever order you choose. The only writing for this week is a discussion board to share your thoughts. There’s a lot here to take in, so we’re approaching this week as a survey of Native voices to give some breadth (and depth) to test those founding sentiments we read last week.
1. Read William Apess’s “An Indian’s Looking-Glass for the White Man” on page 494.
2. Read Black Hawk on page 593. As you read his passage, notice the difference between smoking the peace pipe and “touching the goose quill” (which refers to signing one’s name). These two acts have significance for the Natives and Europeans respectively, but there is an obvious difference in how Black Hawk perceives them.
3. Read Petalesharo on 581 and Boudinot on 583.
4. Finally, read the Cherokee Memorials on page 587. This was the Cherokee Nation’s attempt to argue legal sovereignty over their lands. As you read, compare this document to the Declaration of Independence that you read last week. Do you notice the similarities?
5. Watch a quick video on the Trial of Tears. There are several out there and you may select others, but this brief video will give you a quick frame of reference if you’re encountering the history of the event for the first time. You can also view the brief slideshow lecture that sets up some of this week’s themes.
6. Read through the scholarly article on the history of Native American Resistance in response to land removal. You need not labor over the article; however, reading will help dispel the misconception that the Natives were passive in their removal. Theirs was a non-violent campaign after a century of brutal waring times with white colonists and there were clear factions within the Cherokee Nation itself, a more nuanced history than the one often projected. As the story of American literature is one of struggle and resistance, the enfranchised and the disenfranchised, it’s important to consider how these struggles were fought not just physically but rhetorically and legally. Last week we came to see the importance of Thomas Paine’s rhetoric to support the legal blueprint of the Declaration. Consider how the Memorials also employ such strategies but with vastly different outcomes.
7. Finally, after you have read from this week’s literature, please go to the Discussion Board and share your comments.