Kent Blansett and ICW Associate Director Elizabeth Logan discuss Blansett’s co-edited book Indian Cities: Histories of Indigenous Urbanization that highlights the impact of Indigenous people on urban places and the effects of urbanism on Indigenous peoples and politics.
Kent Blansett is a Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Shawnee, and Potawatomi descendant from the Blanket, Panther, and Smith families. He is the Langston Hughes Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies and History at the University of Kansas. Professor Blansett also serves as the founder and Executive Director for the American Indian Digital History Project. He authored the first biography to explore the dynamic life and times of Akwesasne Mohawk student leader Richard Oakes, a central figure in the 1969 takeover of Alcatraz Island by the organization Indians of All Tribes. Published by Yale University Press, his book, A Journey to Freedom: Richard Oakes, Alcatraz, and the Red Power Movement highlights Oakes’s pivotal role in Red Power activism throughout the 1960s and 1970s that continues to influence Native liberation movements throughout North America. Blansett’s biography attracted national attention with reviews in the Los Angeles Times, Indian Country Today, just to name a few, and was optioned for a future Hollywood movie. His curated museum exhibit “Not Your Indians Anymore: Alcatraz and the Red Power Movement, 1969-71,” is sponsored by the National Park Service on Alcatraz Island and viewable by the visitors until the summer of 2021. Blansett’s scholarship has received numerous fellowships and awards including the prestigious Katrin H. Lamon Fellowship with the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His latest book co-edited with Cathleen Cahill and Andrew Needham is entitled Indian Cities: Histories of Indigenous Urbanization was published by the University of Oklahoma Press.
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