The Voice of America recently highlighted an exhibit, called “Americans,” that opened recently at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. It explores the use of American Indian imagery over the years.
The exhibit also has hundreds of images of American Indians on alcohol bottles, a bag of sugar, motor oil, and other forms of product advertising. Several videos show how the imagery is a large part of American television and film.
Julie Reed, UT associate professor of history and a member of the Cherokee tribe, noted that when historic or cartoonish images are the only pictures people have of what it means to be Native (American), they can’t imagine American Indians in the modern world.
“Even when I’m standing in front of students, identified as a Cherokee professor, making the point from Day 1 that I’m still here and other Cherokee people are still here, I still get midterm exams that talk about the…annihilation of Indian peoples,” she told Voice of America.