Dear Mr. Sherman Alexie,
I would like to thank you for writing this book. I think it really opened my eyes and showed how bad some reservations really are. I changed me because that native americans had it all meaning they had successful casinos but I now realized that some do but most don’t.
I think it is extremely wrong to stereotype people by how they look. Eve-ryone does it even if they don’t mean to. We do to everybody like muslims must terrorists. Mexicans must be illegal. Black people are criminals.
I really came to talk to you about why books should not be banned. I don’t books should be banned because they are kids they cannot be sheltered forever. They need to learn about bad things in the world so when they are older the new generation can fix these problems. Kids will learn about sex and racism when they are older so books like that identify with kids more anyways and if kids are like me then they will like books that identify with them and aren’t about things that they don’t care about. I also think that this book should not be banned because most kids nowadays talk like that anyway cursing out their best friends is what kids do to have fun sometimes.
In conclusion True Diary of A Part Time Indian teaches kids that relationships are not forever so make them count and you have to make a tough decision sometimes so it is up to you to make the decision. I also think that books that deal with topics like death and poverty and racism and bullying what do p
arents that try and ban books want us to read. I think that everyone should read this book because it gives everyone a great perspective on why american indians are in poverty
No. Books should not be banned. The first amendment states “the United States prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of press, interfering with the right to peaceable assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a government redress of grievances”. The part that stands out to me is the right to speak freely, this means that anyone has a right to say what they feel. Many authors such as, Harper Lee, J.K. Rowling, William Golding and hundreds more, have had their books banned. I believe that all authors have a right to speak what they desire for their books. All authors have many great novels but parents feel the need to ban them, mostly because of foul language, racial issues, sexual situations, and, violence or negativity. Parents believe that they are doing the right thing by preventing their kids from reading these banned books.
Parents already feel the need to protect their child in every way possible. I feel that this is necessary, but only to an extent. They feel as if they are protecting their kids from books that don’t give a perfect message, so they ban them. I totally disagree with the way this has been handled. Kids have to learn about these topics sometime. These books can help them understand what is happening and why. I feel that books with foul language or violence can give them a lesson on how not to do such things. Books with racial comments will teach them how words and actions hurt a tremendous amount. Books about damaging lifestyles will help kids learn how fortunate they are. Any type of book can teach you a lesson, give you advice, or even tell you what to do and what not to do. I believe that books should not be banned for many reasons.
I’m usually a fan of your movies, but recently I read the book “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” and it showed me the viewpoint of a teen Native-American. In this book the author explains how when people think of Native-Americans they think of a big feather-headdress, a mean old guy with braids, maybe even a sports team, but you know what they don’t think of? A normal teen with a lot more going on in their life than people realize.
In your movie “Peter Pan” there is a scene where Peter, Wendy, and both of her brothers are sitting with the Native-American tribe. In this scene you made all of the Native-Americans bright red. This by itself is not okay, but then you went ahead and made these characters speak broke English. In this scene they also sang a song called “What makes the red man red.” I cannot stress enough how disrespectful this was.
You may be thinking “Well this is just one movie” but that’s the thing its not. There are forms of Native American Stereotypes in Bedtime Stories, The Lone Ranger, Pocahontas, Jungle 2 Jungle, etc. I understand you cannot take these movies back and re-do them but what you can do is change the image of the Native-American. Right now kids see Native-Americans as violent, dumb, mascots, weird, and more. Let’s change that!
In the movie “Bedtime Stories” there is a scene where Skeeter (Adam Sandler) is telling a story to the kids. In this particular story he is at a farm with “Ferrari Guy” (Allen Covert). You portray the Native-American as dumb. For example, when Ferrari guy answers a question he uses his hands to act out what he’s saying being he has broken English. Of course I understand this is supposed to be funny, but is it all still funny when a Native-American is told they aren’t really a Native-American cause they dress in the same clothes as everyone else?
Even with the most recent movie “The Lone Ranger” it still looks like there’s no evolution to depicting American Indians in a more authentic way. For example, in an interview with Johnny Depp about the movie “The Lone Ranger” he says this movie was supposed to “turn the cliché of the portrayal of the Native-Americans in cinema” he also said “I wanted to play a character a native-American character that represented them in a dignified way cause their dignified people with the respect for the culture, with respect for their language, with respect for everything they’ve been through” The truth is he can say that he wants the character to be one way but that doesn’t mean the character is portrayed that way. The way that you’re portraying these Native-Americans is disrespectful to them and their culture and that needs to be changed.
How are American-Indians depicted in the Disney movie Pocahontas? Throughout the years of movies American-Indians have been depicted as animals and monsters more than humans. Focusing on the Disney moving Pocahontas made in 1995, their depictions and thoughts on Indians are stereotypical in every way.
In this picture from the movie, Pocahontas’s father seems to have bear imprints on his chest and no shirt, Indians wear shirts and I have seen Indians with tattoos/paint but never bear claws.
In this picture an Indian has no shirt and is depicted as a savage, from reading books and watching documentaries Indians rarely do I see an Indian shirtless and Indian’s are very spiritual people, not savages.
In this picture it shows Indian’s surrounded by a spirit of a tiger, Indians are very spiritual and religious people but they are do not call or see spirits physically.
Another source for Pocahontas was the Official Disney Website .
My thoughts on the Indians depicted in the film are quite made more than understanding, I am very angry of how they depicted the Indians in the film with a monster look more than human, I’m also quite surprised of how the company Disney let the artists continue drawing the Indians of what they are not. If is even more insulting to see how Disney made another Pocahontas movie: Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World. There were not many complaints on how the Indians were depicted in this film, and from the complaints that were received to Disney most of them were Indians.
They ways the Indians are depicted in Pocahontas and a lot of these movies that are aimed at kids, are giving the kids a and young people the wrong message by saying and showing that Indians are either savages, monsters and/or crazy people that can see spirits. Others reason it is bothersome is the fact that none of the male Indians in the movie shirts on, and Indians wear clothes, I have only seen Indian shirtless in movies.
In the north county area of the metropolitan area of St. Louis, Mo poverty is a big issue because poverty doesn’t just effect St. Louis financially but it also effects in school districts in the area such as: Jennings, Hazelwood, Ferguson-Florissant, Normandy, and Riverview Gardens. According to, STL Today than 1.1 million children in Missouri and Illinois qualify for a free or reduced-price lunch during the school year.
In Riverview School districts there is an unfair balance between the elementary/middle schools and to the high school. The majority of the high school students can pay for their school lunches, the free breakfast and lunch is provided but very few of the kid actually use it. Compared to the younger students that can’t legally work to pay for lunch even if they wanted to. Riverview Gardens is a district with poverty so high that they had schools serve free lunches during the school year to every child.
Since there isn’t a lot of money coming into the district I believe that they should fund better lunches, which are cheap, frozen meals that come in a black plastic container that is put into a stove to be heated up. Also, the meals have to be delivered every day because some of the schools don’t have a proper kitchen or have a freezer to put the meals so there is one person that heats up all of the meals.
These school districts have addressed this problem head on, by providing breakfast and lunch during the summer because the only meals that the students may have are at school. During the summer, only about 14 percent of low-income students in Illinois, and 8 percent in Missouri have access to summer meal sites. According to the St. Louis Area Foodbank, even though schools are trying to help child hunger, the efforts aren’t really helping, which just comes to show that we need the leaders of our schools to work hard to feed hungry children.
In the book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, the main character Junior’s aspiration to “belong” or “fit in” plays a significant role in the story and in so many youths’ real lives.
Although Junior has lived on the reservation his whole life and the Spokane Indians were his native people, Junior has a lot of trouble “belonging.” When he decided to “leave” the rez and transfer the all-white school called Rearden, he is viewed as a traitor. People, who he knew and loved, harassed him. They didn’t know how to respond to this crazy news. Even his best friend Rowdy felt betrayed.
“What kind of idiot was I? I was the kind of idiot who got punched in the face by his best friend. Bang! Rowdy punched me. Bang! I hit the ground. Bang! My nose bled like a firework.” (Alexie 52)
The reaction of the Indians on the reservation was only the beginning of the torture. Junior couldn’t go anywhere on the rez without either being jumped, laughed at or slurred at, or all three for that matter. It got even worse for Junior, when Rearden played basketball against Wellpinit High on the rez. The whole gym booed him, threw stuff at him from the stands, and eventually Rowdy hit him so hard that Junior had to be hospitalized. Things didn’t change until Grandmother Spirit, or Junior’s grandmother died. It all stopped. No more harassment. No more slurs. The Indian community had realized that Junior was in enough pain from the sudden death of the person he loved most and let him have peace from then on. Even Rowdy, who hated him most, just left him alone.
When Junior first arrived at Rearden, many of people, including teachers, bullied him and treated him like a lower order of human. There was one particular incident outside the school where a group of jocks surrounded him and shouted incredibly racist things at him, just for being Indian. The only response Junior thought of in the moment was to punch the leader in the face in the hopes of attaining “respect” or to just defend himself against this in-humane treatment.
“I wasn’t just defending myself. I was defending Indians, black people and buffalo. So I punched Roger in the face.” (Alexie 65)
As the year progressed Junior slowly made his way up the totem pole due his “relationship” with the popular Penelope. Having Penelope made Junior feel complete and like he belonged at Rearden. Surprisingly enough Junior became very good friends with Roger, or the guy in which he had punched. Roger even lent Junior money, and gave him rides and treated him as if he were family. When Rearden destroyed Wellpinit in basketball Junior made it seem as if he were actually white as opposed to Indian.
“The buzzer sounded. The game was over. We had killed the Redskins. Yep, we had humiliated them.
We were dancing around the gym, laughing and screaming and chanting.
My teammates mobbed me. They lifted me up on their shoulders and carried me around the gym.” (Alexie 194)
He used the same slur against his people that racist white people used against him and his family.
At the end of the book, Junior realizes that he is in fact not white at heart but Indian at heart. No matter how hard he tries to be white, he will always be Indian and he came to accept that. He ended up “belonging” to the white community and his Indian people, he got the best of both worlds for being himself.
“I realized that, sure, I was a Spokane Indian. I belonged to that tribe. But I also belong to the tribe of American immigrants. And to the tribe of basketball players. And to the tribe of bookworms.
And the tribe of cartoonists.
And the tribe of teenage boys.
And the tribe of small town kids.
And the tribe of Pacific Northwesterners.
And the tribe of tortilla chips and salsa lovers.
And the tribe of poverty.
Until the tribe of funeral doors.
And the tribe of beloved sons.
And the tribe of boys who really miss their best friends.
It was a huge realization.
And that’s what I knew I was going to be okay. But it also reminded me of the people who are not going to be okay.” (Alexie 217)
So many youths conflict with themselves, their parents, and their friends because they don’t know which crowd to follow or whether to “belong” to their family, friends or school. The fact of the matter is that you can “belong” to all three. That’s who you are.
waving back at me;
droopy on their frail
The bushy bulk
for the just browning trunk,
taking its first