WATCH: Gregory D. Smithers on Amplifying the History and Voices of Indigenous Resistance
In Conversation with Alan Gallay at Greenlight Bookstore
Greenlight is thrilled to welcome author and scholar Gregory D. Smithers, whose Reclaiming Two Spirits is a sweeping history of Indigenous traditions of gender, sexuality, and resistance that reveals how, despite centuries of colonialism, Two-Spirit people are reclaiming their place in Native nations.
Before 1492, hundreds of Indigenous communities across North America included people who identified as neither male nor female, but both. They went by aakíí’skassi, miati, okitcitakwe, or one of hundreds of other tribally specific identities.
After European colonizers invaded Indian Country, centuries of violence and systematic persecution followed, imperiling the existence of people who today call themselves Two-Spirits, an umbrella term denoting feminine and masculine qualities in one person. Smithers draws on written sources, archaeological evidence, art, and oral storytelling to trace how the authors of colonialism’s written archives used language in an attempt to denigrate and erase Two-Spirit people from history—and to show how they failed.
Smithers is joined by Alan Gallay for a reading and discussion the history and voices of Indigenous resistance.
Founded in October 2009 by Rebecca Fitting and Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, Greenlight Bookstore is an independent bookstore in Brooklyn, New York. Combining the best traditions of the neighborhood bookstore with carefully curated, community-minded events, Greenlight has earned a reputation as a literary destination. Greenlight has continued to serve its community during the COVID-19 pandemic with a diverse array of virtual events, and has been inspired by the movements for racial justice across the country to engage in the work of becoming a more anti-racist company. Learn more at greenlightbookstore.com or check them out @greenlightbklyn.