Monday Morning Book Review

Every Monday Morning our in-house historian and author reviews a book from our book and music store, this week Donovin reviewed the book "Black Elk Lives – Conversations with the Black Elk Family."

The conversations were with Esther Black Elk DeSersa, Olivia Black Elk Pourier, Aaron DeSersa Jr., & Clinton DeSersa, all of whom are descendants of Black Elk and Nicholas Black Elk. Here is what Donovin had to say about the book;

Hilda Neihardt and Lori Utecht interviewed this part of the Black Elk family about their history. The interviews were with these grandchildren and great grandchildren of Black Elk and Nicholas Black Elk. They first discuss Ben Black Elk, son of Nicholas Black Elk and then they include a contemporary view of Pine Ridge Reservation. They related experiences growing up with their grandparents, along with school, family, and church. A view is also offered of the culture, religion, economics, and political atmosphere of the reservation. Stories and legends are also recalled.

The book is centered on the teachings of Nicholas Black Elk. He was interviewed by John G. Neihardt, in the book Black Elk Speaks. Family members were asked what they remember of these interviews and the impact of this earlier book. John Neihardt is the father of Hilda Neihardt who edited Black Elk Lives, along with Lori Utecht.

The reader can gain an understanding of the family and the people known as Black Elk. I commend the authors for preserving this history because it is a challenge to discuss family history in print, in the Lakota world.

Enjoy this book today which is available here at our Prairie Edge book and music store or on-line. If you ever have any questions feel free to contact Donovin at e-mail [email protected] or toll free at 800-541-2388.