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Kevin Abourezk: 'Christmas in Whiteclay' tackles liquor problems

Filed Under: Arts & Entertainment | Law | National
More on: border towns, frank lamere, kevin abourezk, liquor, michael murphy, nebraska, whiteclay
     
   

CHRISTMAS IN WHITECLAY Written by Frank LaMere His father told Him it was a forlorn...

Posted by Open Eyes Not Cans - Help Pine Ridge, Not Whiteclay on Monday, November 30, 2015

A story written by activist Frank LaMere, a member of the Winnebago Tribe, has been set to music by Michael Murphy. Native reporter Kevin Abourezk has more on "Christmas in Whiteclay," a song that tackles alcohol problems in Whiteclay, Nebraska:
Michael Murphy sometimes hears music when others speak, like the soundtrack to a good film.

The Omaha folk musician finds his best work in the spoken words of those he knows.

He said he especially hears music when he listens to his friend Frank LaMere.

“Frank is so amazingly brilliant, and he sees things and hears things nobody else does,” Murphy said of the Winnebago activist.

Two years ago, LaMere shared a story he'd written with Murphy -- and the seeds of a new song were planted.

LaMere has spent more than a decade trying to convince Nebraska state leaders to shut down four beer stores in the town of Whiteclay, population about 10. The stores sell more than 4 million cans of beer a year, mostly to residents of the nearby dry Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

About five years ago, LaMere wrote a story about Jesus visiting the small Nebraska village and providing comfort and warmth to the men and women who drink on the streets every day.

Get the Story:
Kevin Abourezk: Activist hopes Whiteclay song can elevate discussion (The Lincoln Journal Star 12/12)

Related Stories:
Editorial: Nebraska must do more to address liquor in Whiteclay (10/13)
Maia Szalavitz: Stereotypes about Native Americans and alcohol (10/2)
Ivan Star: Ignoring alcoholism leads to destruction of the Lakota (01/29)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Alcohol is the most devastating weapon (12/5)
Gyasi Ross: Oglala Sioux Tribe makes hard decision on liquor (09/10)
Letter: Oglala Sioux Tribe takes control with legal alcohol sales (09/09)
Brandon Ecoffey: Assumptions in newspapers can cut both ways (09/04)
Oglala Sioux Tribe opens polls for referendum on alcohol sales (08/13)
Native Sun News: Oglala leader discusses liquor and per caps (07/23)
Editorial: Oglala Sioux Tribe must take responsibility for liquor (07/17)
Beer distributor changes delivery process for Whiteclay stores (07/11)
Oglala Sioux Tribe weighs legal sales of alcohol on reservation (7/10)
Kevin Abourezk: Oglala leader walks out of Whiteclay meeting (7/9)
Kevin Abourezk: Nebraska governor won't halt Whiteclay liquor (7/8)
Editorial: Oglala Sioux Tribe should legalize sales of alcohol (06/24)
Native Sun News: Camp Zero Tolerance sets up by Whiteclay (06/21)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux president arrested in Whiteclay (06/19)
Native Sun News: Statement from Oglala Sioux Tribe president (06/18)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux president arrested in Whiteclay (06/17)
Kevin Abourezk: Oglala Sioux Tribe approves vote on alcohol (06/12)

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