Books That Inspire 2008


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The Choctaws in Oklahoma: From Tribe to Nation, 1855-1970
Clara Sue Kidwell


In 2007, the state of Oklahoma witnessed two memorial events—the Oklahoma Centennial and the publication of Clara Sue Kidwell’s The Choctaws in Oklahoma. The place known today as Oklahoma first appeared as an Indian Territory under the name Okla-humma, a Choctaw term meaning “red people.” In telling her story of the Choctaw Nation, Kidwell reveals the long journey of a displaced people and their success in becoming a nation and making a new home in Oklahoma. By weaving together historical photographs with the stories of individuals, Kidwell highlights how the Choctaws interacted with and become a part of American society. The compelling gaze of Susie Thompson—the author’s grandmother (captured in the jacket photograph)—will forever remind me of the cultural heritage that the Choctaw people have bestowed on the state of Oklahoma.


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Chie Sakakibara
Lecturer
Native American Studies