Professor Theodore Karamanski discusses his recent book Blackbird's Song, an account of the Odawa people's fight to retain their land and culture in the Great Lakes region through resistance and accommodation.
For much of U.S. history, the story of native people has been written by historians and anthropologists relying on the often biased accounts of European-American observers. Though we have become well acquainted with war chiefs like Pontiac and Crazy Horse, it has been at the expense of better knowing civic minded intellectuals like Andrew J. Blackbird, who sought in 1887 to give a voice to his people through his landmark book http://msupress.msu.edu/bookTemplate.php?bookID=4340. Blackbird chronicled the numerous ways in which these Great Lakes people fought to retain their land and culture, first with military resistance and later by claiming the tools of citizenship. This stirring account reflects on the lived experience of the Odawa people and the work of one of their greatest advocates.