The other day, as I was perusing my many blog feeds, I noticed a familiar name, Sasha Houston Brown. I've worked on different project in the Twin Cities with Sasha so I was surprised to see her name on Racioulicous. Of course, I had to stop and read the post.

Sasha wrote a letter to the CEO of Urban Outfitters, calling them out for their inappropriate line of "Navajo" merchandise. You can see the letter here.

Over the next couple of days I was amazed at how viral this letter had become. it was crossing Facebook pages from friends who live in other parts of the world. I was on Yahoo! checking email and noticed that "Urban Outfitters" was trending. I clicked on it, and sure enough, it was more discussion about Sasha's letter. Tonight, I saw a small video on ABC news.

This was a great reminder to me about the impact that one person can have by speaking out and standing up for their beliefs. For those of us who have careers that revolve around social justice issues, it can easily be discouraging and tiring some days. Sometimes, I find myself feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. That was one of the reasons I began working on this blog. I started in the summer, but haven't launched it until now because I wasn't sure how I wanted to proceed. I have to say that seeing Sasha's letter reminded me that it is important to speak out. To share experiences and resources. So, I finally took the tape off the package and put this blog out there.

Being that we are talking about libraries here, I thought I would provide a few resources that may shed more light on the Urban Outfitters/Navajo issue.


  1. Website: Who Owns Native Culture?
  2. Brown, Michael F. 2003. Who owns native culture? Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.
  3. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/51722860

  4. Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990

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