Saturday, August 29, 2009
Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide, by Andrea Smith: a review by Allison McCarthy [50BPT]
Today's entry comes from Allison McCarthy. Allison McCarthy is currently a graduate student in the Master of Professional Writing program at Chatham University and a freelance writer covering topics on social justice, anti-racism, and feminism(s). Her short fiction and journalism have been featured in magazines such as Girlistic, Global Comment, ColorsNW, The Baltimore Review, The Write Side-Up, Scribble, JMWW and Dark Sky. Along with bloggers Monica Roberts and Renee Martin, Allison is a co-host for the BlogTalkRadio podcast Womanist Musings. She has recently contributed guest posts to the blogs The F-Word UK, Girl with Pen and Womanist Musings and an author interview for the LGBT group blog The Bilerico Project.
Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide, by Andrea Smith, with a foreword by Winona LaDuke
In Conquest, professor and activist Andrea Smith documents the connections between state-sanctioned violence, social violence, and the lives of Native women. Among the topics which Smith brings a sharp critical eye of analysis toward, she includes: forced attendance by Native children at government-ordered boarding schools, racial profiling and the high rates of incarceration for Natives, illegal and unauthorized population control methods, the misappropriation of Native traditions by white supremacist capitalist culture, toxic environmental testing on Native lands, and so much more. Although much of her research reflects the direct experiences of Native women in North America, Smith also chronicles the environmental injustices which impact Native communities across the globe. By refusing to separate culture, race, and gender into simplified categories of oppression, Smith successfully integrates intersectional perspectives with suggestions for readers on how to better understand and fight against social injustices within Native communities today. Her suggestions for structural and social change "meet the challenge to develop programs which address sexual violence from an anticolonial, antiracist framework, so that we don't attempt to eradicate acts of personal violence while strenthening the apparatus of state violence. Nothing less than a holistic approach toward eradicating sexual violence can be successful" (169). For more of Andrea Smith's groundbreaking work, you can also read some of her amazing essays in anthologies published by INCITE!, including The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex (2007) and The Color of Violence (2006).
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