Cass, Caitlin – Postal Constituent: Zitkala-Sa/Gertrude Simmons Bonnin


Postal Constituent: Zitkala-Sa/Gertrude Simmons Bonnin

It’s my first book from Caitlin in ages (finally got to meet her at CXC in Columbus this year) and I had completely forgotten how tricky some of these titles were. Which is a problem to exactly nobody outside of me, so I’ll stop talking about it. Postal Constituent was/is a series of small comics done by Caitlin over ten years; I’d highly recommend going to her website and looking at the display for her event in 2019 if you need more details. The short version is that she has done a whole lot of these over the years, and all the ones I’ve seen are meticulously researched (this one has a bibliography with 7 sources). This one is the story of Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, who gave herself the name Zitkala-Sa later in life. It recounts the peaceful portion of her childhood, how that ended abruptly when she left Indiana to go to school 700 miles away when she was 8, and her time training herself to be an effective public speaker. She was a big speaker in the fight for women getting the right to vote, using her story to bring a unique and often forgotten perspective to the proceedings. Apparently there’s still come controversy over her methods and intentions, which seems silly 100 years later, but people can get worked up about damned near anything. Including offhand remarks in reviews by a dummy like me, but that’s just a fun story I heard at CXC and completely unrelated to this comic. This is a fascinating read, with a real gut punch of a final line: “The fight to ensure native American voting rights continues to this day.” Spectacularly depressing that that’s still a problem, but she’s right. Check it out, learn some history before the country slides any further backwards when it comes to voting rights. I’m not seeing this listed on her website currently, but maybe just email her to ask about it. I bought it less than two weeks ago, so there are copies around somewhere…

Posted on October 19, 2022, in Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.

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