Friday, July 10, 2015

Friday Books: Red Yellow Black

I am happy to report that this week I finally finished a book: The Little Red Yellow Black Book, An Introduction to Indigenous Australia by Bruce Pascoe and AIATSIS. This is a book by and about Indigenous people of Australia. It gives a brief overview of history, culture, language, achievements, legislation and legal proceedings, arts, ceremonies, and just about anything else you need to know about Indigenous Australians. The best thing about this book is that it is written BY indigenous people themselves and not just ABOUT them. The very last page is titled "Traveling Respectfully" and provides tips on how to inquire about entering communities, what things may or may not be taboo, rules regarding picture-taking, etc.

The history in Australia is sadly parallel to what happened here in the USA: settlers arrived and began grabbing land, pushing aside the native people and imposing horrible punishments upon them. In both places we are still grappling with the sad consequences of those cruel acts. I feel compelled to learn about these stories and to try to understand them.

This little book was sometimes a bit dry, but overall was a very interesting intro to a fascinating place and its people.

a mural on an outside wall in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

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