Generations ago, the American Indian Osage tribe was forced to move. Not for the first time, white settlers pushed them off their land in the 1800s. They ended up in a rocky, infertile area in northeast Oklahoma in hopes that settlers would finally leave them alone.
As it turned out, the land they had chosen was rich in oil, and in the early 20th century members of the tribe became spectacularly wealthy. They bought cars and built mansions; they made so much oil money that the government began appointing white guardians to “help” them spend it.
ANDRÉ HOLLAND: After seeing [her] monologue at N.Y.U., I basically followed Danai around for the whole semester. DANAI GURIRA: It was very obvious. HOLLAND: I was a first-year student. You were a big-deal third-year. … HOLLAND: I talk to Danai more than anyone in terms of work. All these plays I’ve done — Danai came to see “Jitney” recently, and she is the only person I talk to about the work. She had a couple good ideas. I’m working hard to put them in. I’ll keep the specifics to myself. [laughter] GURIRA: A lot of it is about decision-making in our careers. We remind each other of who we are, what we want, where we want to go. We can get caught up in the moment of the thing you are working on. We remind each other of what we said last year, or five years ago, about what we wanted in life. HOLLAND: We’re working on a screenplay now together. It’s based on the book “A Native of Nowhere,” and it’s a fascinating story about one man’s life.
“In 1940s Chicago, a young black man (Victor Love) takes a job as a chauffeur to a white family, which takes a turn for the worse when he accidentally kills the teenage daughter of the couple and then tries to cover it up.” Based on the 1940 novel by Richard Wright with the same title.
In comics and graphic novels, Native American characters aren’t usually very prominent. They’re often sidekicks — or worse. But a new publisher focused exclusively on Native writers and artists is changing that. Called Native Realities, the company just released the reboot of the first all-Native superhero comic.
Reporter Megan Kamerick talked to the publisher and some of the creators involved with Native Realities – check out her story here.