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The famous story of the Lakota healer and visionary, Nicholas Black Elk.
Reveals the life of Lakota healer Nicholas Black Elk as he led his tribe's battle against white settlers who threatened their homes and buffalo herds, and describes the victories and tragedies at Little Bighorn and Wounded Knee.
Reveals the life of Lakota healer Nicholas Black Elk as he led his tribe's battle against white settlers who threatened their homes and buffalo herds, and describes the victories and tragedies at Little Bighorn and Wounded Knee.
Black Elk Speaks, the story of the Oglala Lakota visionary and healer Nicholas Black Elk (1863–1950) and his people during momentous twilight years of the nineteenth century, offers readers much more than a precious glimpse of a vanished time. Black Elk’s searing visions of the unity of humanity and Earth, conveyed by John G. Neihardt, have made this book a classic that crosses multiple genres. Whether appreciated as the poignant tale of a Lakota life, as a history of a Native nation, or as an enduring spiritual testament, Black Elk Speaks is unforgettable. Black Elk met the distinguished poet, writer, and critic John G. Neihardt in 1930 on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and asked Neihardt to share his story with the world. Neihardt understood and conveyed Black Elk’s experiences in this powerful and inspirational message for all humankind. This complete edition features a new introduction by historian Philip J. Deloria and annotations of Black Elk’s story by renowned Lakota scholar Raymond J. DeMallie. Three essays by John G. Neihardt provide background on this landmark work along with pieces by Vine Deloria Jr., Raymond J. DeMallie, Alexis Petri, and Lori Utecht. Maps, original illustrations by Standing Bear, and a set of appendixes rounds out the edition.
Winner of the PEN / Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography Best Biography of 2016, True West magazine Winner of the Western Writers of America 2017 Spur Award, Best Western Biography Finalist, National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography One of the Best Books of 2016, The Boston Globe The epic life story of the Native American holy man who has inspired millions around the world Black Elk, the Native American holy man, is known to millions of readers around the world from his 1932 testimonial Black Elk Speaks. Adapted by the poet John G. Neihardt from a series of interviews with Black Elk and other elders at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, Black Elk Speaks is one of the most widely read and admired works of American Indian literature. Cryptic and deeply personal, it has been read as a spiritual guide, a philosophical manifesto, and a text to be deconstructed—while the historical Black Elk has faded from view. In this sweeping book, Joe Jackson provides the definitive biographical account of a figure whose dramatic life converged with some of the most momentous events in the history of the American West. Born in an era of rising violence between the Sioux, white settlers, and U.S. government troops, Black Elk killed his first man at the Little Bighorn, witnessed the death of his second cousin Crazy Horse, and traveled to Europe with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show. Upon his return, he was swept up in the traditionalist Ghost Dance movement and shaken by the Massacre at Wounded Knee. But Black Elk was not a warrior, instead accepting the path of a healer and holy man, motivated by a powerful prophetic vision that he struggled to understand. Although Black Elk embraced Catholicism in his later years, he continued to practice the old ways clandestinely and never refrained from seeking meaning in the visions that both haunted and inspired him. In Black Elk, Jackson has crafted a true American epic, restoring to its subject the richness of his times and gorgeously portraying a life of heroism and tragedy, adaptation and endurance, in an era of permanent crisis on the Great Plains.
Black Elk Speaks is the story of the Lakota visionary and healer Nicholas Black Elk (1863-1950) and his people during the momentous twilight years of the nineteenth century. Black Elk met the distinguished poet, writer, and critic John G. Neihardt (1881-1973) in 1930 on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and chose Neihardt to tell his story. Neihardt understood and conveyed Black Elk’s experiences in this powerful and inspirational message for all humankind. When Black Elk received his great vision, white settlers were invading the Lakotas’ homeland, decimating buffalo herds, and threatening to extinguish the Lakotas’ way of life. The Lakotas fought fiercely to retain their freedom and way of life, a dogged resistance that resulted in a remarkable victory at the Little Bighorn and an unspeakable tragedy at Wounded Knee. Black Elk Speaks offers much more than a precious glimpse of a vanished time, however. As related by Neihardt, Black Elk’s searing visions of the unity of humanity and the earth have made this book a venerated spiritual classic. Whether appreciated as the poignant tale of a Lakota life, a history of a Native nation, or an enduring spiritual testament, Black Elk Speaks is unforgettable. This new edition features two additional essays by John G. Neihardt that further illuminate his experience with Black Elk; an essay by Alexis Petri, great-granddaughter of John G. Neihardt, that celebrates Neihardt’s remarkable accomplishments; and a look at the legacy of the special relationship between Neihardt and Black Elk, written by Lori Utecht, editor of Knowledge and Opinion: Essays and Literary Criticism of John G. Neihardt. For more information on John G. Neihardt, visit www.neihardt.com
Told from the Native American point of view, Black Elk’s Vision provides a unique perspective on American history. From recounting the visions Black Elk had as a young boy, to his involvement in the battles of Little Big Horn and Wounded Knee, as well as his journeys to New York City and Europe with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, this biographical account of Black Elk—an Oglala-Lakota medicine man (1863–1950)—follows him from childhood through adulthood. S. D. Nelson tells the story of Black Elk through the medicine man’s voice, bringing to life what it was like to be Native American in the mid-to-late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. The Native people found their land overrun by the Wha-shi-choos, or White Man, the buffalo slaughtered for sport and to purposely eliminate their main food source, and their people gathered onto reservations. Through it all, Black Elk clung to his childhood visions that planted the seeds to help his people—and all people—understand their place in the circle of life. The book includes archival images, a timeline, a bibliography, an index, and Nelson’s signature art. Praise for the work of S. D. Nelson Western Writers of America Spur Storyteller Award Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award [STAR] “An appealing story full of excitement, warmth, and wisdom.” —The Five Owls, starred review “A fine choice for story hours, this will also find wide curricular use.” —Booklist “A modern-day story in the Sioux tradition of storytelling.” —Winston-Salem Journal “Splendid acrylic artwork captures the action, humor, and spirit of the tale. A solid addition to collections of Native American tales and an enjoyable read-aloud.” —School Library Journal “Nelson pulls it off with his confident style as a storyteller . . . polished illustrations . . . informative, well written.” —Kirkus Reviews F&P level: U
F&P genre: B

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