The history of the United States is intertwined with the history of Native Americans, but it’s not always told that way.
In fact, ignoring or distorting Indigenous American narratives and historical events has been commonplace throughout much of U.S. history. However, a new generation of scholars aim to change that by reflecting on the struggle, survival and resurgence of American Indian nations.
One of those scholars in Ned Blackhawk, a Detroit native and history professor at Yale University who has written four books on the topic. In his latest book, “The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History,” Blackhawk interweaves five centuries of Native and non‑Native histories, from Spanish colonial exploration to the rise of Native American self-determination at the end of the 20th century.
Blackhawk sat down with Created Equal host Stephen Henderson on Monday to discuss the key takeaways from his new book, as well as how growing up in Detroit influenced him to pursue a career in history.
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Ned Blackhawk, Ph.D is a professor of history and American Studies at Yale University, and the author of “The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History.” He says American history often omits details about the Native Americans who influenced the founding of this country.
“If we think of American history as beginning with puritans, patriots and presidents, we lose the capacity to see beyond those categories,” he said. “So we have to unmake some of these familiar received categories of analysis in order to see longer subject matters over time.”
Listen to Created Equal with host Stephen Henderson weekdays from 9-10 a.m. ET on 101.9 WDET and streaming on-demand.