Challenging Erasure: Settlers, Native Americans, and Freedpersons in Oklahoma Myth and Memory

My own family history includes the swindled and the swindlers, the oppressed and the oppressors. This lecture asks all of us to interrogate and embrace the complexity of American history.

Lecture Description

In this lecture, Cobb-Greetham places Oklahoma’s public history and memory at the center of the American story, turning on the perceived fulfillment of manifest destiny and the perceived conquering of the Five Tribes of the southeast. She speaks of the current efforts of the Five Tribes to contest elements of cultural erasure in the state of Oklahoma’s public histories and monuments, which celebrate the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889 and the mock wedding between “Miss Indian Territory” and “Mr. Cowboy Oklahoma” as part of the 1907 statehood day celebration. She then turns her attention to the public histories and museums of the Five Tribes themselves. In her analysis of the Five Tribes’ museums and cultural centers, Cobb-Greetham describes their confrontation with the often-elided hard truths of their own histories, including participation in the chattel slavery system. The lecture discusses the challenges of telling the hard truths of American history and embracing the complexity of our shared past.

CATEGORIES

American Indian Public History and Memory

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Amanda Cobb-Greetham, Ph.D.

VIEW SPEAKER : Amanda Cobb-Greetham, Ph.D.


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