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Muscogee Daughter: My Sojourn to the Miss America Pageant
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University of Nebraska Press
Pub Date: 2020
ISBN: 9781496219565
Susan Supernaw
Muscogee Daughter: My Sojourn to the Miss America Pageant
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Muscogee Daughter: My Sojourn to the Miss America Pageant

by Susan Supernaw

How American is Miss America? For Susan Supernaw, a Muscogee (Creek) and Munsee Native American, the question wasn't just academic. Throughout a childhood clouded by poverty, alcoholism, abuse, and a physical disability, Supernaw sought escape in school and dance and the Native American Church. She became a presidential scholar, won a scholarship to college, and was crowned Miss Oklahoma in 1971. Supernaw might not have won the Miss America pageant that year, but she did call attention to the Native peoples living largely invisible lives throughout their own American land. And she did at long last earn her Native American name.

Chronicling a quest to escape poverty and find meaning, Supernaw's story is revealing, humorous, and deeply moving. Muscogee Daughter is the story of finding a Native American identity among the distractions and difficulties of American life and of discerning an identity among competing notions of what it is to be a woman, a Native American, and a citizen of the world.