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Open Books Open Minds - There There by Tommy Orange
The RIC Open Books--Open Minds common book for 2020/2021
"We're going to be with our relatives. Indians of All Tribes. We're going over to where they built that prison. Gonna start from the inside of the cell, which is where we are now, Indian people,that's where they got us, even though they don't make it seem like they got us there. We're gonna work our way out from the inside with a spoon." --There There, p. 48
"'We will purchase said Alcatraz Island for twenty-four dollars in glass beads and red cloth,' read a proclamation by the group, 'a precedent set by the white man’s purchase of a similar island about 300 years ago. We know that $24 in trade goods for these 16 acres is more than was paid when Manhattan Island was sold, but we know that land values have risen over the years.'"
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Johnson documents the unrest in the Bay Area urban Indian population that helped spur the takeover and draws on interviews with those involved to describe everyday life on Alcatraz during the nineteen-month occupation.
The American Indian occupation of Alcatraz Island was the catalyst for a more generalized movement in which Native Americans from across the country have sought redress of grievances, attempting to right the many wrongs committed against them. In this volume, some of the dominant scholars in the field chronicle and analyze Native American activism of the 1960s and 1970s. Much of what is included here began as a special issue of the American Indian Culture and Research Journal; the introduction has been extensively modified and one chapter deleted. Importantly, the new first chapter provides extended background and historical analysis of the Alcatraz takeover and discusses its place in contemporary Indian activism. Contributors include: Karren Baird-Olson, LaNada Boyer, Edward D. Castillo, Duane Champagne, Ward Churchill, Vine Deloria, Jr., Tim Findley, Jack D. Forbes, Adam (Nordwall) Fortunate Eagle, Lenny Foster, John Garvey, George P. Horse Capture, Troy Johnson, Luis S. Kemnitzer, Woody Kipp, Joane Nagel, Robert A. Rundstrom, Steve Talbot