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Red Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala-Sa, Native American Author, Musician, and Activist

Red Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala-Sa, Native American Author, Musician, and Activist - Gina Capaldi This book was more than I thought it was going to be. From the cover, it appears to be a book about a Native American musician, but that is only one small part of this story. Zitkala-Sa was a remarkable woman who bravely navigated two worlds, ultimately giving a voice to the concerns of her people and of women early in the twentieth century. Red Bird Sings tells the story of how Zitkala-Sa, a young girl of the Yankton Sioux reservation, was given the opportunity of an education at a Quaker school in Indiana. Education set her apart from her former world and yet she thrived in the white culture of school where she found a special talent in music and writing and speaking. Music served to support her and further her education, and her supported her efforts in speaking out about Native American issues about which she felt most strongly. An excellent biography of a woman at a formative time in her own culture and that of our country, and how she met the varied challenges of blazing a trail with her life where there were no real mentors or role models to follow. Among many achievements, Zitkala-Sa was the first Native American writer to receive national attention, the first Native American violinist to perform at the White House, and the first Native American to compose an opera and have it staged. Her work was influential in the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, she founded the National Council of America Indians, and she lobbied Congress regarding American Indian issues. This and further information about her adult life is detailed in an afterword. There is also a note on the use of sources and materials, a selected bibliography, a list of Zitkala-Sa's writings, and other books and websites for further reading as well as free downloadable educational resources from the publisher's website. Recommended.