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Ojibwa Warrior: Dennis Banks and the Rise of the American Indian Movement [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Dennis Banks , Richard Erdoes
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  • Taschenbuch: 352 Seiten
  • Verlag: Univ of Oklahoma Pr (22. März 2005)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 080613691X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806136912
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 22,8 x 16,7 x 2,2 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 185.841 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Ojibwa Warrier Banks, founder of the American Indian Movement, tells his story for the first time and presents an insider's look the group and its protest events--including the 1973 standoff at Wounded Knee--enhanced by dramatic photographs. Full description

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May 8, 1973-Stand down at Wounded Knee. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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Von Ludferd
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
This is an impressive record of experiences made by one of the founders of the American Indian Movement, Dennis Banks. He recounts his experiences at a boarding school where he was taken forcibly as a child. Also, his experiences later on with the racially biased US Justice system, and as a soldier within the US Army. Lastly, also his experiences made with the corrupt elected Indian officials, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. I found this book to be an inspiration for all those fighting for a more just and better world.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Great Personal History and Social Commentary 8. August 2006
Von Jeff Hendricks - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Ojibwa Warrior is an autobiography and first hand account of the formation and rise of the American Indian Movement told by one of its founders, Dennis Banks. Banks' book, Ojibwa Warrior, is a multi-dimensional account of the history of racism and empire in the United States which should be of great interest not only to historians but also to anthropologists, philosophers, ecologists and especially social and environmental activists.

Banks begins the book with one of the most important events of the 20th century - the armed takeover and occupation of Wounded Knee by the American Indian Movement in 1973. Throughout the course of interaction between the Federal government of the United States and the remaining Tribal Reservations, the takeover of Wounded Knee was arguably the most important event of the 20th century. The takeover placed the American Indian Movement and the struggle for Native sovereignty into the national and international spotlight. The takeover of Wounded Knee is a fitting beginning for Banks' book, which is filled with various stories and events that combine into a overarching narrative of uncompromising struggle against oppression and determination to better the lives of Native Americans by any and all means necessary.

From Wounded Knee, which is dealt with in detail towards the end of the book, Banks fades back to his childhood years on the Leech Lake Ojibwa Reservation in Northern Minnesota where he was born in 1937. Banks was born into an economically poor yet culturally rich environment where he and his family lived close to the land and relied on natural foods to supplement their scarce and unhealthful government rations. Dennis tells of the close relationship that he had with his Grandparents, who still spoke the Ojibwa language and continued to practice the spiritual and cultural traditions of their ancestors. Throughout the book, Dennis would reflect back on those happy days often. However, the good times did not last. At the age of six, Dennis and his siblings were forcibly removed from the care of their relations to be placed into State run boarding schools. Banks' experience in this "school" was one that can be described as nothing other than a Government sponsored attempt at cultural genocide.

When Dennis returned to the reservation, he found the situation there to be much worse than when he had left as a child. Although the reservation had always been poor and marginalized, the situation was now much worse - increasing numbers of white folks had encroached into the reservation and the state had forced the Ojibwa nation to take out licenses to hunt traditional foods on their own land. The ability to sustain oneself on the reservation had become nearly impossible and Banks did what many youths from poor and marginalized areas often do in a tragic attempt to better their economic situations - he joined the armed forces. Ironically, rather than making Banks into a mindless soldier for America, his time in the Air Force ended up engendering within him a consciousness of the racist and imperialistic nature of the United States:

"I had been guarding the ramparts of the American Empire, but now I felt like those Crow and Arikara Indians who, after scouting for Custer and fighting on behalf of the whites, were pitted against their own brothers, the Cheyenne and Lakota. My Japanese family members were called gooks, slopes, and slant-eyes by whites, and those who suffered from these names were people just like me. Was I not a slant-eye, as all American Indians are? The American Air Force, which I had thought of as a friend, turned out to be an enemy" (p.55).

Although his antipathy toward the Air Force had already been established, Banks extended his tour of duty two years to remain in Japan with his new Japanese wife and child. When Banks was reassigned to the States shortly after, he went AWOL in order to remain with his family. However, his freedom did not last for long and he was quickly captured, court-marshaled, jailed and shipped back to the States where he received a dishonorable discharge.

By the mid 1960s, Banks was remarried with children and living in the "Indian Ghetto" section of Minneapolis where he had sunken into despair and alcoholism. In 1966, he was arrested, convicted and sent to prison for two years for stealing groceries to feed his family. During his time in prison he wrote that he had become invigorated by the growing resistance to U.S. empire both inside and outside the country and was especially inspired by groups such as the Weather Underground and the Black Panther Party. When he was released from prison in 1968, he returned to Minneapolis, determined to organize the Indian community to join in the struggle against racism and empire. On July 28, 1968, Banks organized a meeting in the "Indian Ghetto," where over 200 people showed up to discuss how to best empower their local community - during this meeting the American Indian Movement (A.I.M.) was formed.

A.I.M. began with the formation of a local cop-watch program to monitor and intervene in police abuses of the Indian community. As A.I.M. began to grow and achieve successes in its various struggles, native communities around the country began to call upon the group to intervene in their local struggles. A.I.M.'s tactics were confrontational and although they did not seek violence, they were not afraid to use it if they deemed it necessary to achieve their goals. Coupled with their militant organization and tactics, Banks also describes a spiritual foundation based on a synthesis of traditional native ceremony/spiritualism that was very important to the cohesion and morale of the organization. Although A.I.M.'s tactics were modeled after groups such as the Panthers and Weathermen, those groups suffered from a reactionary anti-spiritualism and disconnected consciousness. It is very likely that A.I.M's spiritual foundation was the key element that allowed A.I.M. to achieve many great successes in their struggles as well as to remain as an organized movement while other resistance movements dismantled and faded into oblivion when faced with the violent repression of the U.S. government under the cointelpro program.

A.I.M. achieved many great victories in their struggles, but they also suffered many devastating defeats. Banks describes some of the more notable actions that A.I.M. undertook during the 1970s and early 1980s, including the six day long occupation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs headquarters in Washington D.C., the riot in Custer, South Dakota, which ended in the arson of the County Court House, the three month long armed takeover and occupation of Wounded Knee in South Dakota, and the shoot-out between A.I.M. members and F.B.I. agents at the Jumping Bull ranch on the Pine Ridge reservation. Banks also describes he and Leonard Peltier's time together on the run from a massive national manhunt after the Jumping Bull ranch incident and also writes about the time he spent in California during the 1980s while he lived under an asylum granted him by then Governor Jerry Brown.

The importance of Banks' book cannot be understated. As a primary source document, it will remain as an important reference for present and future historians studying the American Indian Movement and the various groups with which it interacted. The book will also be of great importance for present and future resistance groups who find themselves engaged in struggle against the forces of empire and the repressive apparatus of the United State Government - for these people and groups Ojibwa Warrior will provide much needed insight into the strengths and weaknesses of resistance movements in the United States and the strengths and weaknesses of the various repressive agencies of the U.S. government.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen The Real Human Being 7. März 2005
Von Mick McAllister - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
The rumors of this book began more than fifteen years ago, and those of us who understood that it was Dennis Banks, not the flamboyant Russell Means, who was the heart and soul of AIM, have been waiting patiently. It was worth the wait. Banks tells a truly Indian life story--it's no accident that more than half the pictures are of other people: his relations.

Don't look for startling revelations here. We still don't know who really killed the FBI agents at Pine Ridge. And the spirit of Anna Mae Aquash should haunt Banks as he lays dying. But if you want to know how it is to grow up Indian in today's America, this is the book to start with.

It would be great to see the University of Oklahoma Press with a deserved best seller. And Richard Erdoes has capped an admirable career as scribe to contemporary native peoples with his collaboration on this strong, true book.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Thanks to a real Warrior. 12. Mai 2004
Von James Branham ( Runs with Wolf) - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Dennis Banks and the founders of AIM, deserve respect and thanks for their sacrifices, especially from American Indians. They woke us up with their refusal to fade away. They instilled honor and respect back into our lives and made us realize the pride of who we are. We are not sports team mascots, wacky Hollywood injuns or the names of vehicles, but a real and proud people, the First People.
If you want a close up look at a history, struggle and a real warrior this is the book.....and if you're American Indian buy this book and consider it a tobacco offering for Dennis Banks.
Mitakuye Oyasin - We are all related.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen writer, runner, warrior 26. April 2004
Von Tracy Jordan - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
As a teacher of Native American Literature, I have often wished for this book! Dennis Banks is a legend to the college students, as he was to me when I was a student. He is also the rare man who proves to not only live up to his legend, but to rise above it. The power he has to inspire people across generations and cultures is just one good reason to pay attention to what he has to say.
With the exception of Peter Matthiessen's In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, there had been no book which, for me, brought to life the early days of the American Indian Movement and made comprehensible the events surrounding the occupation of Wounded Knee, and its aftermath. Matthiessen does a good job, but is limited by the obvious--he is writing about something. Mr. Banks, of course, was there.
Mr. Banks is a man who can do anything, and do it well, as he shows us again through writing this book. When one has lived an amazing life, as he has, what better way to share it than through a book? His writing style is beautiful--clear, compelling, descriptive--and his subject matter is some of the most important and most neglected in all of American history.
But in spite of its national scope, the book is, above all, spiritual and personal. Banks shares his life, in the best sense. The first chapter shows us the danger at Wounded Knee, and the miraculous escape of Banks and four friends. Chapter 2 takes us back to his childhood on the Leech Lake reservation, from memories of the beautiful ceremonies surrounding the harvest of the wild rice to his enlistment in the Air Force at seventeen years old. Then, as later at Wounded Knee, it was the blessing of his people, the medicine and prayers they gave to him, which became his protection in this world. The honest and open way he speaks of his faith in spiritual matters should be envied by many of the so-called "spiritual" writers of our time--there is no troubling use of language here, no struggle to redefine spiritual terms to fit our day and time, and no awkwardness when he tells of praying aloud. At one Sun Dance, a young man asks for his help because of trouble with his wife; later, as Banks stands with his hands on a tree, praying to the Creator for his help and guidance in running the dance("Grandfather, help us during this day and all the days of this sacred dance.), the man's two small boys overhear him and begin laughing, thinking he is talking to the tree. He calls to them, wanting to tell them what it is all about, but they run away. He remembers an elderly blind woman from his own childhood, and how he and his friends hooted and whistled at her when she went to her own special place, a tree, to pray to the Creator. He can recall the lilt of her voice, her sincerity in singing and in prayer, and knows now how close she was to the Great Spirit. When he speaks of such things, of suffering, of the unquestioned belief that, with prayer, the spirits will help us, one sees where the power which sustains the American Indian Movement comes from. At the end of Chapter 21, which covers another amazing escape/shootout, this one in Marlon Brando's motorhome, Banks suggests, quietly, "Maybe the Creator is an AIM-lover."
The honesty of this book is evident in so many ways--without obsessing over them, Banks shares his failures in some relationships, and admits that his absences from home have been hard on his family. He speaks openly of his time in prison, offering some constructive criticism of the system and its methods of dehumanizing people. But again and again, it is the peacefulness of the story, the small moments, which delight the reader. Here is the man who spent months pursued by the FBI, the man who dodged countless bullets, both real and figurative, proving to the reader that he prefers peace, that he is not and has never been a violent man. This is underscored by the family moments, like when he takes his daughter, Tashina, deer hunting, and witnesses her crying, shocked, when she realizes he means to shoot the deer. So he doesn't--they amend deer hunting to deer-watching, and everyone goes home happy.
It is also a book which comes full circle, when in the Afterword we find Banks doing what he does now--raising his youngest son, Minoh, at Federal Dam, where he was born, and running a small business with wild rice and maple syrup. His son is learning the Anishinabe language, and they live in the old ways--hunting, fishing, making canoes and drums. "It is a good life up here," he says.
Dennis Banks is a man we should hear, and his is a book we should read. As a final note, it is also a book we should look at. The 72 photographs include excellent family photos, and photos of reservation life and sacred ceremonies, including modern-day Sun Dances. There are also, of course, many powerful pictures from the protests of the 1970's. Many of the Wounded Knee pictures have not been widely seen before, and, along with their captions, tell the story in their own way.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Personal and informative 30. November 2004
Von A. Bayes - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Dennis Banks was born in 1937 on the Leach Lake reservation in Minnesota. He was taken from his home at an early age and forced to attend a government boarding school designed to rid him of his Ojibwa ways and assimilate him into white culture. After a brief stint in the U.S. Air Force, Banks returned to the U.S. and lived in the Indian slums of Minnesota, and was arrested stealing food to feed his family. While in prison, Banks educated himself and was inspired by the Civil Rights movements of the 1960s. After his release, Banks became a founder of AIM, the American Indian Movement, an organization deeply footed in Native religion and culture, designed to unify and inspire Indians in the fight for equal rights. Richard Erdoes has written several books on American Indians, including Lakota Woman. He spent many years with AIM and has documented much of their struggle in photographs.

This autobiographical account of the life of an AIM leader spans over 70 years, from Banks' birth to the present. Although the story recounts many events from Banks' life before AIM, the main focus is on the birth of the organization, and the major events in which AIM took part. The most well documented parts of the book are the discussion of the 1972 Trail of Broken Treaties march to Washington, D.C., which ended in the occupation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs building, and the 1973 standoff at Wounded Knee aimed at ending the violence and corruption of the tribal government at the Pine Ridge Lakota reservation. Banks offers significant insight into these events, describing the causes and effects of AIM's actions, as well as the conditions they faced, the players involved, and the underlying theme of unity and dedication among the AIM members. He focuses also on the relationships he formed with fellow members and supporters, his family, and his goals in keeping AIM a peaceful group that used violence only when necessary for self-defense. He pays tribute to all who helped him and his family during their time hiding from authorities, which shows just how respected this man was by his supporters, as well as how feared he was by those who felt threatened by him. When asked what AIM accomplished 25 years ago at the height of its activism, and if Indians are really better off now, Banks responds, "We were the prophets, the messengers, the fire-starters. Wounded Knee awakened not only the conscience of all Native Americans, but also of white Americans nationwide...We resurrected old beliefs and ways of life, blending them with demands of modern life, with what we needed to survive...We no longer needed whites to "interpret" our culture." Banks is realistic but optimistic in his conclusions, and states, "We have not achieved all that we wanted. We have only made a dent in solving our many problems...We leave much to do for the new generations coming up...we are a still a strong people."

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone interested in prominent 20th century figures, social activism, Native American culture and history, or simply the autobiographical genre. In this first hand account, Banks provides details to which only he has access, and writes in a fast-moving way that maintains the interest of the reader. The account of the occupation of Wounded Knee was entertaining, educational, and heartbreaking. Banks describes his friendships with those who gave their lives for the movement, and even questions why he is still alive when others perished in the struggle. The emotional aspect of this book is what I found most valuable. Purely scholarly historical accounts of this subject may provide a more well-rounded view, but Ojibwa Warrior offers a glimpse at the humanity behind Dennis Banks, and the inner-workings of a man who has spent his life working for justice and equality. Richard Erdoes' photographs help bring the story of Dennis Banks and AIM to life, adding a face to many of the characters discussed in the book.
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