Thursday, September 06, 2018

Recommended! Rebecca Roanhorse's "Thoughts on Resistance" in HOW I RESIST: ACTIVISM AND HOPE FOR A NEW GENERATION

Editors note, Dec 31, 2018: Yesterday, I was updating the photo gallery of Native writers and went to Roanhorse's website to make sure I identify her as she identifies herself, but her bio no longer says she is Ohkay Owingeh. On Twitter today she said she's Indigenous. I'm not sure how to refer to her at this point. "Indigenous" without a specific tribal affiliation is not sufficient to be included on AICL. This has never happened to me before, so... not sure what to do! --Debbie

Yesterday, I wrote about the work of an Indigenous artist in We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices, an anthology edited by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson. Today, I'm back to talk about a different Indigenous artist, in another book with the theme of resistance.

I'm talking about Rebecca Roanhorse's "Thoughts on Resistance" in How I Resist: Activism and Hope for a New Generation, edited by Maureen Johnson. Here's the cover--and isn't it gorgeous?

Second from the right on the top line is Roanhorse. She is Ohkay Owingeh/Black. In her essay, she writes about being asked to participate in this project:
I felt a mistake had been made. I'm not an activist.
She goes on to say she's a writer off science fiction and fantasy. That's not activist work, she thought, but then, she remembers that she's an Indigenous woman, and...
Every day I am alive, I am resisting those who would reduce Native Americans to a footnote in a bad history book. 
There's several more "Every day I am alive..." passages and then,
Some of us have been resisting since 1492.
Awesome, right? She then refers to the Indigenous people who went to Standing Rock. She didn't go, but tells us that we can't all go to sites like that, and that some of us aren't "cut out to be frontline pipeline warriors." If, she writes "you're more like me, write." She suggests that Indigenous teens imagine worlds with Indigenous people in them--where they are not just surviving, but thriving. This, next part, for me, is precisely what I think this anthology is meant to do: inspire teens, to write!
... imagine Natives in space stations, Natives battling the Empire, Natives slaying dragons...
There's more, but I want you to get the book and read the rest of her essay, and the others in How I Resist, too! They're all different in length, style, and format (some, for example, are interviews). Published in 2018 by St. Martin's Press, I definitely recommend it!

1 comment:

Ava Jarvis said...

Yes yes yes this this this!

I need this so much. Thank you for the recommendation!