Character List

Black Elk (1863-1950) Oglala Sioux holy man and healer; also the name of his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. White Cow Sees Black Elk’s mother. Refuse-to-Go Black Elk’s maternal grandfather. Plenty Eagle Feathers Black Elk’s maternal grandmother. Standing Bear Minneconjou Sioux; Black Elk’s friend from childhood, who participated in the Battle […]

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About Black Elk Speaks

Black Elk Speaks is an example of personal narrative, which is, most simply, the story of someone’s experiences narrated by that person. Memoir, autobiography, and published diaries — like Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography, for example, or The Diary of Anne Frank — are traditional versions of the personal narrative. More precisely, […]

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Book Summary

Neihardt frames Black Elk Speaks with his Preface and Author’s Postscript, which, though modest, remind readers of an editing presence. In these two pieces, Neihardt describes the circumstances of his conversation with Black Elk. Chapters 1 and 2 are preliminary to the description of the great vision in Chapter 3; […]

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