Just like every other white person in America, I'm Cherokee. My family is from Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Well actually Scraper which is where the allotments were and Chewy where the Stomp Dance goes down.
We were in the civil war, the Cherokee Mounted Volunteer Cavalry. My ancestors fought under the direct command of General Stand Watie.
When I was growing up, anytime I did anything good, Mom said it was because I was Cherokee. "It's in the blood" but my Dad claimed it was German blood that produced so many positive traits, but I think now it was both.
I studied our language, history and culture. But I loved our magic. The Cherokee Ah-Da-We-Hi has some of the coolest magical technology I have ever seen. And the written language doubles as a nice looking magical alphabet too.
Sequoyah has always been a personal hero of mine. He was an amazing man, who single-handedly changed history or rather Saved the history of an entire culture. Literally. He invented the Cherokee Syllabary, the Cherokee writing system. This is Amazing for a few reasons. First, he didn't read or write any language at all, he simply saw what the whites were doing and understood the concept.
Second, he is the only human to accomplish this task within his own lifetime. All other writing systems have been the product of literary evolution, and developed over hundreds of years. He did it in Twelve. But to me the most amazing thing about it all is the obstacles he overcame.
Namely, his own people. Sequoyah was repeatedly accosted by his own friends and neighbors, his own people, his own tribe. They burned down his home several times, with him in it. Destroying his work, he just started over, every time.
They threatened to kill him and tried a few times, he had to relocate for his own safety. But he finally did it, and it worked. He taught it to his daughter and they went to the Tribal counsel.
They wanted to burn him for Witchcraft (hahahahaha) but with the assistance of his daughter and a few others they were able to demonstrate the system publicly.
Someone, whispered into his ear, he scribbled on a piece of paper (talking leaves) and it was carried to his daughter some ways away, who recited the whispered words. Within a few years the entire tribe was reading and writing in their own language. As a result they were able to record and save their own cultural history.
So yesterday I posted a comment on Facebook about receiving a letter the the CDCR requesting my assistance. I have been requested by another prison, they enclosed all the paperwork required to get started. And naturally this got some attention, mostly from close friends who were happy and proud of me.
But as I have written about in the past, there are many of my own own people, my own tribe, who are not happy about my success. I have received a few massages from a few people who keep nay saying. I was told I am not qualified to do what I am doing. But they don't know what my qualifications are or are not, and they don't know what I am doing or not doing.
So what are they really talking about?
The ones who can't do what I do, accuse me of being either a sell out or a mindless puppet of the evil conspiracy to screw them out of a job they couldn't do anyway.
So it times like this, I have to ask myself...
What Would Sequoyah Do?