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, and abuse, 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.
"A unique story, but also an iconic American story, it is inspiring and heartbreaking, and ultimately redemptive. Susan Supernaw is living testimony to the triumph of the human spirit as well as the strength of Native American culture." Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie "This is a riveting story about resilience and strength. Susan Supernaw opens the door into the beauty of the Native American spirit as a young girl who triumphs in spite of tough circumstances. It's also the best of the Miss America story---not about who wins a crown but about who is helped to become all she is called to be." Jane Jayroe, author of More Grace than Glamour: My Life as Miss America and Beyond "The publication of Susan Supernaw's Muscogee Daughter establishes this former beauty queen as a powerful storyteller. We hear the unlikely tale of how a rowdy, barefoot girl growing up in Indian country made it to the Miss America pageant. What remains most striking is the unexpected gift of the heavy understory of Supernaw's spiritual tests. Throughout the telling, she remains straightforward and mesmerizing. This story is a giveaway, in honor of all those who assisted her in her journey of becoming." Joy Harjo, Mvskoke poet and musician