Literature and History: The Development of American Culture to 1865


I really enjoyed Apess. It was interesting to finally read from the fresh perspective of an ACTUAL victim for a change. This one was a very easy read. It is interesting how much the dialect changes over the course of the century as well. I may do some research into the evolution of the dialect myself for my own enjoyment and to further independent research. As I may or my not have said in the past, the biggest problem I have with religion is it’s follower’s blatant disregard for the message conveyed by their codes of conduct in favor of personal perceptions, opinions, or gains. I feel strongly that if one claims a religion, that person(s) should abide by the rules and guidelines provided by that religion, or risk their actions labeled as hypocritical. In a time where there was no shortage of unjustified racism, another voice of reason emerged from none other than an educated, converted manifestation of the perceived enemy that is the Native American. Being of that nature myself, I really enjoy when someone is exposed for their hypocritical actions. I tend to be that person myself in similar situations though none nearly as serious as this. I like his passion and directness when he says states that the persecution of his people by the Christians is a direct contradiction to what is stated to be ethical in the bible. He brings attention to the passages by John that state “He who loveth God, loveth his brother also,” (4:21) and “if any man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar,” and goes on to say that there is no eternal life for them. 
 Also fun from this reading, the part where he so humorously recalls that the Christian martyr himself, Jesus Christ, was a man of color himself, being a Jew from the middle east. This part was my favorite, because even though it is geographically and historically accurate, I still know hundreds of people whose heads would almost literally explode if they were told this. Fun stuff fun stuff.. =]


3 responses

  1. marinieves224

    I agree about how the Christians were being hypocrites which is why most people are turned off by religion, the fact that people like you said claim a religion and don’t follow the rules and guideline is pretty confusing and pointless. A perfect example you gave of the passages by John and I am paraphrasing here about loving your brother but then mistreating the native American or killing them It seems to me that you are basically trying to say he’s not your brother or he’s your enemy is very confusing when you are suppose to believe they are your brother in Christ. I think this was the case because of lack of experience, and ignorance. These people didn’t experience many races at the time so to be this close minded and ignorant would be the norm. Now we have people of all different races and religions, I think we have evolved to be a lot more sophisticated for lack of better words. I think for the most part we as humans have become more accepting, understanding and tolerant of each others differences as where that wasn’t the case before. I mean we still have ignorant people who think they are superior to other groups or people but I think its not so bad as before. Out of curiosity I tried to find more information on how Jesus was perceived racially and it definitely make sense that because of the region Jesus was from he wouldn’t be as pale as me, I would dare to think he got a nice tan however, through out history people have perceived him to be fair skin and even Black. According to the wikipedia this was based on the argument that Mary his mother was a descendant of black Jews.

    November 10, 2011 at 9:37 am

  2. The Apess reading was very refreshing and eye opening. It is the first and only work I have read from an actual Native American. I found it to be very modern. He states that there are fifth teen colored people to one white. This is a perfect example of how absurd it is to consider a group of people a minority when they are in fact the majority. Another interesting statement from Apess is his comment about skins imprinted with their national crimes. I liked this quote because it made me question God’s wrath on the white race. Have they suffered injustices or genocides? Should they be punished? and if so by who God or another race? I feel it would be senseless to seek revenge for a crime committed hundreds of years ago. If the white race were punished by another they would be just as wrong as the whites were. I think the point of the quote was to make us see revenge isn’t necessary. We are to learn from the tragedies of the past, so that we can prevent them in the future.
    In high school i had a teacher who told my class that in most other countries they portray Jesus as Black or colored. Back then it was shocking to me because I have only seen a few images of a colored Jesus. Even when it was said in our class i still found it a bit shocking. I think that is because America was the place of racial turmoil, we were over flooded with these images and ideas of superiority. It is proof that what was done so long ago still haunts people’s minds even when we are generations removed.

    November 15, 2011 at 9:25 pm

  3. Wow. What an accomplished man, given the history of when he was growing up. How he was beaten and then sold as a laborer. Given his nationality (of mixed blood), what amazed me was how he was able to obtain a license to be able to preach. He only preached to an Indian town and he really tried to make a stance in bettering his community. Apess mentioned, “we as a tribe, will rule ourselves, and have the right to do so; for all men are born free and equal, says the constitution of the country”. I found this to be the most inspirational statement. It shows how much he was willing to do to better his people and community and stand up for rights they deserved. What I enjoyed most about reading Apess, is that he was a simple man with a horrible upbringing and not really having a place in life, to becoming a man who fought for his rights and for his peoples rights and didn’t back down and made great movements in history. Right before his book was even published about his beliefs for his rights and his people, he won the case for self-governance.
    In an Indian’s Looking-Glass for the White man, it sounds like he wanted to share his story. The story of his life and his beliefs and to hear his word that many didn’t know of especially on the behalf of the Indian’s. He addressed it in a way where he wanted people to know before he should ever pass away and not be able to get his story out.

    November 29, 2011 at 7:15 pm

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