American Indians and the Rhetoric of Removal and Allotment

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Univ. Press of Mississippi, Feb 10, 2015 - History - 228 pages
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Jason Edward Black examines the ways the US government’s rhetoric and American Indian responses contributed to the policies of Native–US relations throughout the nineteenth century’s removal and allotment eras. Black shows how these discourses together constructed the perception of the US government and of American Indian communities. Such interactions—though certainly not equal—illustrated the hybrid nature of Native–US rhetoric in the nineteenth century. Both governmental, colonizing discourse and indigenous, decolonizing discourse shaped arguments, constructions of identity, and rhetoric in the colonial relationship.

American Indians and the Rhetoric of Removal and Allotment demonstrates how American Indians decolonized dominant rhetoric through impeding removal and allotment policies. By turning around the US government’s narrative and inventing their own tactics, American Indian communities helped restyle their own identities as well as the government’s. During the first third of the twentieth century, American Indians lobbied for the successful passage of the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 and the Indian New Deal of 1934, changing the relationship once again.

In the end, Native communities were granted increased rhetorical power through decolonization, though the US government retained an undeniable colonial influence through its territorial management of Natives. The Indian Citizenship Act and the Indian New Deal—as the conclusion of this book indicates—are emblematic of the prevalence of the duality of US citizenship that fused American Indians to the nation yet segregated them on reservations. This duality of inclusion and exclusion grew incrementally and persists now, as a lasting effect of nineteenth-century Native–US rhetorical relations.

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Rhetoric from Nationhood to Removal
Governmental Colonizing Rhetoric During Indian Removal
Native Decolonial Resistance to Removal
Colonization and the Solidification of Identities in the General
PanIndianism and Decolonial Challenges to Allotment
Identity Duality and the Legacies of Colonizing

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About the author (2015)

Jason Edward Black is an associate professor in rhetoric and public discourse and an affiliate professor in gender and race studies at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. He is the coeditor of An Archive of Hope: Harvey Milk's Speeches and Writings and Arguments about Animal Ethics. His work has appeared in such journals as Quarterly Journal of Speech, Rhetoric and Public Affairs, American Indian Quarterly, and American Indian Culture and Research Journal.

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