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This weeks show turns an eye towards THE GOOD GUYS and THE BAD GUYS and the perfect interview to coincide with that as Daniel Blake Smith asks the question – What exactly is a Patriot and examines the historical truths of what was happening in The Cherokee Nation just at the advent of the event of what we know now as The Trail of Tears.
Mr. Smith shares his journey from college baseball to star to avid historian as his journey led him to writing and film-making. A warm and wonderful interview and an intimate discussion with a man who is shinning a light on hidden subjects and illuminating truth from the archives of history.
And of course – we can’t let you get away without a few cool musical interludes to set the stage so follow along as we invite the likes of Sonny & Cher, Dave Mason, Mumford and Sons, and some guy named Beethoven join us for a little storytelling magic.
Daniel Blake Smith is a writer and filmmaker who loves to tell true, compelling American stories. Raised in the north Texas town of Wolfe City and educated at Oklahoma State University and the University of Virginia (where he received his doctorate in American history), Smith is the author of three books, most recently a stirring narrative account about early Virginia, The Shipwreck that Saved Jamestown, and a new book about the internal struggles in Indian country that culminated in the epic tragedy of forced removal, An American Betrayal: Cherokee Patriots and the Trail of Tears.
Many of Smith’s films likewise focus on powerful, pivotal moments in our nation’s past: he wrote and coproduced ”February One,” a documentary about the 1960 Greensboro, North Carolina, lunch counter sit-in that helped launch the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. “February One” aired nationally on PBS’s ‘Independent Lens.’ He also wrote two prize-winning documentaries (both narrated by film star James Earl Jones) about native American life: “Cherokee Legacy: The Trail of Tears,” and “Black Indians: An American Story.” Smith’s documentary biopic about Edgar Allan Poe (“Terror of the Soul”), starring John Heard and Treat Williams with music by Philip Glass, aired on PBS’s “American Masters” series. Smith’s documentary history of Kentucky, narrated by Ashley Judd, “Kentucky—An American Story,” aired in May 2011 on Kentucky Educational Television.
Smith’s current film work includes a variety of documentary and dramatic feature projects in development. He is the writer/producer of “The Phoenix,” a true dramatic story of courage and recovery. “Blood Born” is a medical thriller about how a remarkable discovery transforms a man’s life—and those around him. Smith is writer/producer for “Impact: After the Crash,” a feature documentary about the 1988 Carrolton, Kentucky, bus crash—the worst drunk-driving accident in U.S. history.
The fierce battle over identity and patriotism within Cherokee culture that took place in the years surrounding the Trail of Tears.
“An American Betrayal: Cherokee Patriots and the Trail of Tears,” written by Daniel Blake Smith, explores the pervasive effects of the tribe’s uprooting that have never been examined in detail. Despite the Cherokees’ efforts to assimilate with the dominant white culture—running their own newspaper, ratifying a constitution based on that of the United States—they were never able to integrate fully with white men in the New World.
Daniel Blake Smith’s vivid prose brings to life a host of memorable characters: the veteran Indian-fighter Andrew Jackson, who adopted a young Indian boy into his home; Chief John Ross, only one-eighth Cherokee, who commanded the loyalty of most Cherokees because of his relentless effort to remain on their native soil; most dramatically, the dissenters in Cherokee country—especially Elias Boudinot and John Ridge, gifted young men who were educated in a New England academy but whose marriages to local white girls erupted in racial epithets, effigy burnings, and the closing of the school.
Smith, an award-winning historian, offers an eye-opening view of why neither assimilation nor Cherokee independence could succeed in Jacksonian America.