The Pocahontas Exception, Real and Imagined

I bet you are wondering whether this is going to be about the senior senator from Massachusetts who is currently running for president and attracting the name “Pocahontas” as a racial epithet by the incumbent or about the historical girl of that name whose collision with English settlers defined her entire life? It’s about both, an attempt to show how two cultural tropes — both with tenuous connections to reality — collided.

Let’s start with as much reality as we can discern in the 21st century about somebody who born in the 16th century. We know…



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Steve Russell

Enrolled Cherokee, 9th grade dropout, retired judge, associate professor emeritus, and (so far) cancer survivor. Memoir: Lighting the Fire (Miniver Press 2020)