Philip Deloria

Aug 8, 2022

On "Black Elk Speaks"

A Discussion with Philip Deloria

New Books Network 2022

In many ways, Black Elk and John Neihardt lived very different lives. Black Elk was an Oglala Lakota holy man. Neihartd was a European-American literary critic. Black Elk performed for Queen Victoria with Buffalo Bills’s Wild West Show. Neihartd was Poet Laureate of Nebraska. But in other ways, they weren’t different at all. “By all accounts, they really, truly felt like they had a kind of spiritual affinity for one another,” says Harvard Professor Philip Deloria. In this episode, Professor Deloria discusses Black Elk Speaks, the book that Black Elk and Neihardt co-authored in 1932, which shaped the way both white and Native Americans understood Native culture. Philip Deloria is Professor of History at Harvard University. He is the author of several books, including Playing Indian and Indians in Unexpected Places. His most recent book is American Studies: A User's Guide, co-authored with Alexander Olson. See more information on our website,

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