Hatter Fox Historical Context

Marilyn Harris
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When Hatter Fox is trying to convince Summer that she knows where she can go once she leaves the reformatory, she mentions one word: Alcatraz. She is referring to an incident that began in November, 1969. Seventy-eight members of the group Indians of All Tribes, many of whom were college students from San Francisco, took over Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay. They demanded that the site of the former federal penitentiary be turned into an Indian cultural center. They offered to purchase the island for twenty-four dollars in beads and cloth. The group said they were following a precedent set by the white man's purchase of Manhattan Island several hundred years earlier.

The occupation lasted until June, 1971. It was a sign of the increasing militancy of Indian activist groups in the late 1960s as they sought to preserve their heritage and...

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This section contains 802 words
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