One comment on “GHOST DANCING by Robert Lowell Russell

  1. The old man in this story is Black Elk, an actual witness to the Wounded Knee massacre of 1890. He was a Lakota medicine man and when he was much older, he recounted his memories of Wounded Knee to John Neihardt in the classic book, “Black Elk Speaks.” (1932) Black Elk also detailed a number of visions he had as a medicine man. Much as Neihardt took Black Elk’s translated words and chipped away at them to reveal their inner poetry, I’ve taken some of Black Elk’s words out of context and altered them a bit for dramatic effect. The Wounded Knee massacre is widely regarded as the final conflict in the 19th century Indian wars, and I believe Black Elk lamented the failure of the Ghost Dance movement to restore his people and renew the Earth when he said, “A people’s dream died.” (Black Elk himself did not seem vengeful, just sad) But while that particular dream may have died, Black Elk’s people survived.

    Flash fiction doesn’t normally come with footnotes, so I’ll end my comments here, but I’m going to stick a bit more about the Ghost Dance and Wounded Knee on my blog.

    Robert Lowell Russell

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