Archive for the 'John Wayne' Category

John Wayne taught my daughter that she is an Indian

In honor of my daughter Hannah’s 9th birthday, I’m passing along a short essay that I published on John Ford’s film Fort Apache (1948).

When Hannah was four years old, we watched this film together and I wrote about the experience for LeAnne Howe, Harvey Markowitz, and Denise K. Cummings’ edited collection entitled Seeing Red- Hollywood Pixel Skins: American Indians and Film.

There are so many ways for authors to approach their reviews of films.

At first, I wanted to write a scathing commentary on the racists ways the film depicted Native people, but I chose instead to understand the film from the perspective of an American Indian child.

I had hoped to reach more people with this approach, and bring a sense of the “humanity” to the larger topic of films, stereotypes, and racism.

As I mention in the essay, my time seeing the film with Hannah also brought back many childhood memories of watching John Wayne films on Saturday afternoons with my dad.

Screenshot 2013-11-29 10.26.20

Click to download (3 pages)


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© Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert and BEYOND THE MESAS, 2009-2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert and BEYOND THE MESAS with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About the author

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert (Hopi) is Professor and Director of American Indian Studies and Professor of History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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