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  • Writer's pictureDoris Clark

Black Elk

The Life of An American Visionary

Author: Joe Jackson

I’ll be honest, this is not a book I would seek out. My daughter gave it to me as a Christmas gift. She knows I have always had an interest in Native American history.

I am so grateful for this gift. Reading the story of Black Elk’s life was fascinating and engrossing. Joe Jackson knows how to write history.

Remarkably thorough . . . Jackson’s deep research shows on every page, and his narrative skill makes this long biography a gripping, even thrilling read . . . . In this book, he helps bring back a crucial American voice.” – Kate Tuttle, The Boston Globe

It is not all a pleasant read. The reality of those times and the cruelty inflicted upon the Native American Indian is shameful, if you ask me. Virtually, genocide was wrought upon the people who welcomed us, as immigrants, really, into their land.

Black Elk was really not a warrior. “Instead, he accepted the path of a healer and holy man, motivated by a powerful prophetic vision that he struggled to understand.”

While being driven from their land time and time again, the native Sioux tribe, along with all other tribes, fought to survive in a rapidly shrinking world in which they wished to live. With the wasichu, as the white man was called, constantly breaking the treaties that were in place, there was little hope in trusting those who infiltrated their lands.

If you have any interest in early American history or of the Native Indian heritage I recommend this book to further your knowledge. It will show you the change from a peace loving people to warriors who fought at Little Big Horn and Wounded Knee.

Here’s to a summer filled with good books!


Doris Clark

© Doris Clark, July, 2019


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