Cleveland Peace Action hosts Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Friday, February 11, 2022 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm

Cleveland Peace Action is hosting a virtual event with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of Not A Nation of Immigrants: Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy, and a History of Erasure and Exclusion, An Indigenous People's History of the United States and other books. She will be in conversation with writer Frank Joyce on Friday, February 11th at 7:30 pm.  A portion of book sales will benefit Cleveland Peace Action, whose mission is stopping violence, war and terrorism through peaceful, just and democratic means.

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Whether in political debates or discussions about immigration around the kitchen table, many Americans, regardless of party affiliation, will say proudly that we are a nation of immigrants. In this bold new book, historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz asserts this ideology is harmful and dishonest because it serves to mask and diminish the US's history of settler colonialism, genocide, white supremacy, slavery, and structural inequality, all of which we still grapple with today.She explains that the idea that we are living in a land of opportunity--founded and built by immigrants--was a convenient response by the ruling class and its brain trust to the 1960s demands for decolonialization, justice, reparations, and social equality. Moreover, Dunbar-Ortiz charges that this feel good--but inaccurate--story promotes a benign narrative of progress, obscuring that the country was founded in violence as a settler state, and imperialist since its inception.

While some of us are immigrants or descendants of immigrants, others are descendants of white settlers who arrived as colonizers to displace those who were here since time immemorial, and still others are descendants of those who were kidnapped and forced here against their will. This paradigm shifting new book from the highly acclaimed author of An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States charges that we need to stop believing and perpetuating this simplistic and a historical idea and embrace the real (and often horrific) history of the United States.

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma in a tenant farming family. She has been active in the international Indigenous movement for more than 4 decades and is known for her lifelong commitment to national and international social justice issues. Dunbar-Ortiz is the winner of the 2017 Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize, and is the author or editor of many books, including An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States, a recipient of the 2015 American Book Award. She lives in San Francisco. 

Frank Joyce is a lifelong Detroit based writer and activist.  He is co-editor with Karin Aguilar-San Juan of The People Make The Peace: Lessons From the Vietnam Antiwar Movement and he is currently writing a book about unlearning white supremacy. 


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