I can't remember the last time I made a blog entry to draw attention to a particular book, but we just got our copy of The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book in the mail yesterday and it is so good that we felt like we had to tell everybody about it. I like to judge books by covers (not exclusively, but still...) so I knew I was going to like this one as soon as I pulled it out of the box:
Wow! This Gord Hill guy is NOT messing around! And the inside is even better. I like it because 1) everything is unambiguously presented from a Native warrior's perspective; and 2) the information is both factually correct and meticulously distilled down to its skeletal minimum to help the reader (that would be you) focus attention on the basic moral and ethical questions that lie at the heart of each historical example. Some people might think this book is only about death and devastation, but to me this book is more about living and surviving.
Pinky and I read the entire comic book last night, it took us only a few hours. Now Kim is reading it. After Kim & Mimi are done, we'll be passing it along to someone else. I think that's what it was designed for. It's not big - just long enough to present a very basic outline of colonization and genocide in the Americas (more emphasis on North America) - but it's also short enough that people who can't or won't do fat books will feel encouraged to pick it up and start reading it right away. Plus it's a comic book - this is a teaching tool with amazing possibilities!
Who should read this book? I'll say "everybody", although it's predicable that a lot of indoctrinated citizens of the settler state ('serious' teachers, students, and activists included) will feel more turned off than enlightened by it. (Nothing new there, these are the same people that think Ward Churchill got fired for committing academic indiscretions or that there's good kinds and bad kinds of resistance in the face of genocide.) What excites me most about material like this is that it has the potential to throw open a whole universe of histories and wisdom already recorded by hundreds and thousands of Indigenous writers and warriors, to practically anyone with a hunger for truth and justice, Native or settler. I know these people are out there.
So here is a book that also happens to be powerful medicine. What will be done with it?
[ Link to: 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book by Gord Hill, 2010. ]
Posted by Bunny.
[ note from pinky: I wanted to mention that the book also includes a powerful introduction and five pages of "recommended readings" by Ward Churchill, which will probably turn into my reading list for the next three or five years! ~pinky ]