Essay about The White American Lens Of The Black Hills

1201 Words Jul 7th, 2016 5 Pages
In 1875, many Sioux and Cheyenne left their reservations, frustrated with the U.S. Government and the infringement of treaties and with white settlers encroaching into the sacred land in the Black Hills in search of gold. Seven thousand Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho assembled in the summer of 1876 on the banks of the Little Bighorn River, (King, 2016). During this time the Secretary of War, J.D. Cameron reported to the U.S. Senate and President in 1876, “The true Policy, in my judgment, is to send troops against them in the winter, the sooner the better, and whip them into subjection. They richly merit punishment for this incessant warfare.” Though the battle is now looked at in a different light, it is still remembered mainly through the white American lens.
After the battle Custer and his troops were viewed as tragic heroes, and celebrated in every form of media, The Last Stand was represented and sensationalized in Wild West shows (Figure 1), advertisements (Figure 2), paintings and poetry. Walt Whitman wrote, “Thou of sunny, flowing hair, in battle, I erewhile saw, with erect head, pressing ever in front, bearing a bright sword in thy hand, Now ending well the splendid fever of thy deeds, (I bring no dirge for it or thee—I bring a glad, triumphal sonnet;),” (1876). These are the views of the battle that are often remembered, dramatized glorifications of what was intended to be one of the largest massacres of Native Americans.
We see a very different view of the battle…

Related Documents