‘I am A Man’ selected for Nebraska 150 books

‘I am A Man’ selected for Nebraska 150 books

Thursday, April 28, 2016 - 10:15am
‘I am A Man’ selected for Nebraska 150 books
‘I am A Man’ selected for Nebraska 150 books

University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Journalism & Mass Communications professor Joe Starita’s “‘I Am A Man’: Chief Standing Bear’s Journey for Justice” was selected as one of Nebraska’s most notable 150 books.

Next year marks Nebraska’s 150th anniversary of becoming a state. In celebration, the Nebraska Literary Heritage Association selected 150 Nebraska books to be featured in this list as the most notable.

The book chronicles the life and death of Chief Standing Bear, the Ponca chief who, in 1879, unwittingly ended up in the crosshairs of a landmark legal case. Standing Bear and his tribe were forcibly removed from their Nebraska homeland and marched to what is now Oklahoma. “I Am A Man” is about his 600-mile journey to return his son’s body to their traditional burial ground and his legal triumph in federal court that gave Native Americans – for the first time in the nation’s 103-year history – some of the same constitutional protections as white citizens.

“This is a humbling honor and one I accept on behalf of the Indian people,” Starita said. “Anything that helps elevate the profile of this remarkable man and his triumphant and inspirational march through the history books can only be judged as a good thing.”

In 2011, “I Am A Man” was the One Book-One Lincoln winner and the One Book-One Nebraska winner in 2012. It was also the first Nebraska-produced Talking Book, recorded by the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service (TBBS).

It’s available on audiobook for purchase or rent, as well at https://www.downpour.com/inner-work?product=208320

Starita is also the author of “A Warrior of the People,” a book set to be released in November, about Susan La Flesche Picotte, the first Native American doctor and a member of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska. He also wrote “The Dull Knifes of Pine Ridge – A Lakota Odyssey,” which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

He has received several awards for his work with the Native American community, including the Leo Reano Award, a national civil rights award from the National Education Association, and the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution History Award Medal.

Before joining the journalism faculty in 2000, Starita spent 13 years at the Miami Herald and served as the paper's New York bureau chief from 1983-1987. He also spent four years on the Herald's Investigations Team, where he specialized in stories exposing unethical doctors and lawyers. One of those stories, an article examining how impoverished and illiterate Haitians were being used to extort insurance companies into settling bogus auto claims, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in local reporting.

The Nebraska Literary Heritage Association’s mission is to encourage the collection, preservation and promotion of work by and about Nebraska authors through support of the Lincoln City Libraries special collection, the Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors and to foster the creation and appreciation of this literature through programs, collaborative partnerships and the use of technology, according to its website.