Warning: Only read this is you are prepared for just about your entire elementary-middle-high school education shattered.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz has taken the history of the United States and told it through its very first residents – the Indigenous nations.
She begins by establishing what life was like pre-colonization: Irrigation, farming, healthy trade routes and fifteen million Native people who lived in relative harmony.
And she chronicles what happened to them.
Death. Destruction. And the systematic destabilization of millions.
No sugar coating of generous trading between pilgrims and Indians.
No rosy-colored glasses about buying and selling land.
And absolutely no sweeping the blatant racism and centuries-long genocide under the rug.
Men, Women, Children. All were fair game under the guise of the “American Dream.”
And while I “knew” going into the book that the Native Americans were put into a rough situation – after all, how could you go through high school without being at least a little aware of the trail of tears or the re-education at state-run schools…I didn’t really know until I read this book.
In high school, we regurgitated facts and interwove them with tales of the first Thanksgiving and a generous Columbus – never knowing the truth behind such horrific times.
It is heartbreaking and has made reevaluate just about every assumption I had about American History. I highly recommend this book.