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|04-19-2017, 08:21 PM||#1|
Pow Wow Visitor
writer wants to depict a native teen correctly and respectfully
Hello, I am an 18 year old girl from California and am an aspiring screenwriter.
I am of entirely European descent so I know very little about the cultures and customs of Native people but would like help depicting a character in my most recent work correctly, believably, and respectfully.THANK YOU!
|04-19-2017, 10:31 PM||#2|
Pow Wow Committee
Welcome to powwows.com.
May I ask what your qualifications are for writing about Indians, small southern towns, Protestants or the state of Mississippi? In the mists of prehistory, when I was taking creative writing in college, I seem to remember being told to write what I know.
With all due respect, in your précis I see a lot of stereotyping of Indians, Southerners, and small towns. You seem to lack not just experience with Cherokee culture, but Southern cultures, small towns or Protestantism.
First, there is one reservation in MS. It the home of the Mississippi Band of the Choctaw. They are the only federally recognized tribe in the state. The Mississippi Band of the Choctaw is one of the largest employers in MS. Besides gaming and hospitality businesses, they operate lumber, automotive, military supply, plastics molding, and other manufacturing and service industries. The are an economic force in the state.
The Cherokee that are in Mississippi are members of Cherokee communities with reservations in OK and NC. There are no federally recognized Cherokee groups in MS.
Most Native people have European or English language names. Salali is one of those badly spelled, at best, highly imaginative, at worst, Anglo baby name book names. High cheekbones?! Could we please get over 1970's Cher.
Second, the south is far more nuanced, varied and cosmopolitan than most outsiders recognize. An individual in a small southern town is no more likely to be backwards than an individual in a city. Having lived in DC; Boston; Houston; Dallas; Chadron, NE; Maryville, TN; Belen, NM; Cadiz, OH, and Chicago I found no shortage of ignorance (and no shortage of intelligence, wit and wisdom). The stereotype of the small town Cracker is no more balanced than the stereotype of cosmetically enhanced, New Age, blonde, self-absorbed, beach-bum Californian.
By the way, unless her Protestant mother was a high-church Episcopalian, it is unlikely she went to mass. Rebelling against the liturgy of the Catholic mass was one of the Protestant reformation things :)
|04-20-2017, 12:43 AM||#3|
The voices tell me...
Why must I feel like that..why must I chase the cat?
"When I was young man I did some dumb things and the elders would talk to me. Sometimes I listened. Time went by and as I looked around...I was the elder".
Mr. Rossie Freeman
|04-20-2017, 01:02 AM||#4|
Pow Wow Visitor
Thank you for the overly critical and condescending response. I told you I had done minimal research so I wasn't completely sure about anything. Also, I never asked about southern or protestant cultures, I am non religious so I was unaware of the correct terms for a church service there. I'm still in the research and trial and error working process. I'm not entirely sure why you are so hostile. As I said I am 18, I know very little about Native or "Indian" cultures or customs, that's precisely why I asked. It's really fun that you also chose to stereotype and insult me based on where I am from when criticizing me for supposedly doing the same. I'm sorry I didn't realize reservations in the south were so awesome, I'm only familiar with western reservations that are much less economically thriving. I also resent your "write what you know" comment, if everyone only wrote what they knew the majority of literature would be even more centered on straight, white, educated men than it already is. I was really hoping to find help here and not be attacked but I guess not. The race of my character was never of huge importance to her characterization I just wanted to ensure she didn't seem stereotypical. You were not helpful, polite, or constructive. I'm not sure why anyone would choose to be such an angry and demeaning person. I'll be happy to resign from this site that I assumed would be about educating people not tearing them down.
|04-20-2017, 07:58 AM||#5|
Pow Wow Committee
I can tell you from experience, if you plan to get your work published/produced/reviewed you'd best grow a much thicker skin. Snowflakes don't last long in that desert.
The answer to a lack of Native voices and representation is not more non-Indians writing whitewashed Native caricatures. Believe it or not, I'm not one of those who says Non-Natives can't write realistic native characters. They can, but only if they have had actual involvement with Native communities and people. Reading a few -- non-Native authored -- books and a couple webpages does not make for a nuanced understanding of the Native experience. It seems you want to use a tribal identity as an ethnic costume on the dominant culture trope of the alienated, misunderstood teen.
In my opinion, you're writing from too many areas of ignorance and inexperience: Cherokee experience, southern culture, MS, small towns, religion. That is a lot of research. Lots of getting to know people and places to create realistic multidimensional characters. It is a recipe for stereotyping.
|04-20-2017, 10:50 AM||#6|
Me & Eyes r doin' goot !
She's also in too big of a hurry to lash out at someone she doesn't know , because of some educated insight to her own ignorance ! ( she's too easily butt hurt )
I believe blood quantums are the governments way to breed us out of existance !
They say blood is thicker than water ! Now maple syrup is thicker than blood , so are pancakes more important than family ?
There are "Elders" and there are "Olders". Being the second one doesn't make the first one true !
Somebody is out there somewhere, thinking of you and the impact you made in their life.
It's not me....I think you're an idiot !
There's a chance you might not like me ,
but there's a bigger
chance I won't care
|cherokee, choctaw, mississippi, reservation, writing help|
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