Black Elk Speaks

             According to The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, leadership is defined as “one who has the ability or capacity to lead others.” However, I tend to slightly disagree with that assertion. I believe that there is so much more to leadership than just the ability to lead others. To me it is willing those around you to become better. It is making others believe in something they had little or no faith in before. Leadership is the ability to make others feel that achieving anything is possible. The novel by Neihardt and Black Elk, Black Elk Speaks, is an empowering autobiography of a leader who deserves to be acknowledged. I could not think of a better way then by this book. It’s insight and amazing story of the leader of the Sioux tribe, Black Elk, is impressive. His faith, heart, and courage are all tested but not once does anything break his character.
             Black Elk Speaks dealt a great deal with the interaction man has with nature. The traditional Sioux way of life depended on the relationship man had with nature. A great amount of regard was to be held toward the cycle of the season and animal life to be able to secure food, clothing and shelter. When the Native Americans lived in cooperation with nature, those necessities were available to them, and due to their cooperation their very existence seemed proof of the care of the Great Spirit. When the whites decided to migrate west, it had a greater consequence then expected, especially to the Indians. It violated the Sioux’s perception of the sacred as well as their way of life. Decades later, we still believe our interaction with something, especially nature, determines our outcome.
             Animals alone do not reflect the Sioux’s relationship with nature. Voices of thunder and flying men in Black Elk’s vision take him through the sky to a tepee made of clouds with a rainbow for a door. It is very symbolic how thunder plays a ro...

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Black Elk Speaks. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 17:15, January 18, 2017, from