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This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color

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This groundbreaking collection reflects an uncompromised definition of feminism by women of color. Through personal essays, criticism, interviews, testimonials, poetry, and visual art, the collection explores, as coeditor Cherríe Moraga writes, “the complex confluence of identities—race, class, gender, and sexuality—systemic to women of color oppression and liberation.”


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This groundbreaking collection reflects an uncompromised definition of feminism by women of color. Through personal essays, criticism, interviews, testimonials, poetry, and visual art, the collection explores, as coeditor Cherríe Moraga writes, “the complex confluence of identities—race, class, gender, and sexuality—systemic to women of color oppression and liberation.”

30 review for This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rowena

    Without getting too personal, I have to admit I grew up with identity issues.I guess most women of colour living in the West do have such moments, especially seeing as how we are under-represented in many areas of society. Not only that, we also have to contend with stereotypes and being caught between cultures. As such, this book was very important to me. It is an anthology featuring different types of works (poems, speeches, short stories) by gay and straight women of colour (African-American, Without getting too personal, I have to admit I grew up with identity issues.I guess most women of colour living in the West do have such moments, especially seeing as how we are under-represented in many areas of society. Not only that, we also have to contend with stereotypes and being caught between cultures. As such, this book was very important to me. It is an anthology featuring different types of works (poems, speeches, short stories) by gay and straight women of colour (African-American, Asian, Native American, Latina). What I found surprising is how all these groups of women have similar problems despite their ethnic differences. The book is indeed radical. It is very candid and unapologetic. It's also exhorting. It talks about the frustration that women of colour have faced when their concerns and experiences have not been included in traditional feminist theory. I found the book to be very inspirational. It was actually written over 30 years ago so things have changed quite a bit but some of the concerns remain the same.The main change I have seen is women of colour gaining awareness of themselves, their place in society and their strength. As Mitsuye Yamada says, "I would like to think that my new awareness is going to make me more visible than ever." Gloria Anzaldua encourages women of colour to write and share their stories and concerns. One of her quotes was so beautiful: "Pen, I feel right at home in your ink doing a pirouette, stirring the cobwebs, leaving my signature on the windowpanes. Pen, how could I ever have feared you. You are quite housebroken but it's your wildness I am in love with." Despite the book being aimed at women of colour, I believe it is a good book for all women to read. Very educational and enlightening.

  2. 5 out of 5

    simon

    don't try to read queer theory or anything on your gender studies syllabus without reading this book first. because that shit all came from this shit, no matter what all the white queer theorists try to tell you. but seriously. theoretically, the trajectory is there. these women came up with what we all now understand as the reality that multiplicity is how each of us navigate the world (ok some other folks did it too, for sure) and those multiplicities occur simultaneously, both internally and e don't try to read queer theory or anything on your gender studies syllabus without reading this book first. because that shit all came from this shit, no matter what all the white queer theorists try to tell you. but seriously. theoretically, the trajectory is there. these women came up with what we all now understand as the reality that multiplicity is how each of us navigate the world (ok some other folks did it too, for sure) and those multiplicities occur simultaneously, both internally and externally, at all times. i've been in academic situations where students think that foucault or paolo friere or judith butler came up with this. yikes. these are the words that are most at risk of being lost in gender/queer/sexuality academia today, so make sure you are reading it before getting deep into these fields! make sure your favorite theorists today are quoting moraga and lorde and p. smith and barbara ramsey! (ps. for all you haters judith butler does this. :P ) thankfully, the coolest voices out there in queer theory today are folks writing from a post-colonial queer perspective who are down with this shit. who are not forgetting these crucial voices when necessarily calling for the renegotiation of identity politics. next, read "Making Face, Making Soul/Haciendo Caras: Creative and Critical Perspectives by Women of Color" also edited by Moraga

  3. 4 out of 5

    Zanna

    This anthology by radical, feminist and mostly lesbian Women of Colour has the aura of a revolutionary moment. I loved the range of styles, especially the wonderful poems and prose poems, and generally the directness that gave it the feeling of a drama, the feeling of being in a room with the contributors. Much of what is said, of course, is still being said now, and I am aware that white feminists have cherry picked and weaponised words from this collection against women of colour. Nonetheless, This anthology by radical, feminist and mostly lesbian Women of Colour has the aura of a revolutionary moment. I loved the range of styles, especially the wonderful poems and prose poems, and generally the directness that gave it the feeling of a drama, the feeling of being in a room with the contributors. Much of what is said, of course, is still being said now, and I am aware that white feminists have cherry picked and weaponised words from this collection against women of colour. Nonetheless, keeping the context and the drift of a challenge to we white feminists to shake off the cosy mantle of the oppressor, I will echo a few of the most thrilling lines from the performance. "Without an emotional, heartfelt grappling with the source of our own oppression, without naming the enemy within and outside of us, no authentic, non-hierarchical connection among oppressed groups can take place" - Cherrie Moraga Moraga notes that white women's groups have not seemed to feel a lack when women of colour were absent, and thus have not made efforts to be inclusive. This is an indictment of how feminism has been understood by white women. Native writer Chrystos says "I no longer believe that feminism is a tool which can eliminate racism" Mitsuye Yamada writes that especially for Asian women 'passive resistance' is not possible as such behaviour confirms stereotypes about Asian women. For this reason, their anger makes white women most angry. She shares that every time she speaks to white women groups it is as if women like her have never been heard before. She notes that women in her life agree on feminism as an ideal but are disappointed with women's movement as is. She bears witness to some acts of racism, for example, when she campaigned for the Fair Housing Bill a church friend asked her 'why are you doing this? haven't we treated you well?' revealing that even third of forth generation Asian Americans are expected to act as a guests in the US, just as women of colour are expected to act as guests in feminism. Barbara Cameron is forthright on internalised racism, confessing her negative feelings about Black, Asian Chicano and other groups which have come 'from TV & who knows where' and also racism among Indians about 'half-blood' people for example. She gives a neat description of the weird way white people behave at parties, describing the books they have read about your culture and so on, while the 'third world people' and/or gay people in the room all affect 'sophistication' by 'talking to white people'. Like many contributors, she laments the racism among white lesbian feminists and the burden placed on her and other Women of Colour to eliminate racism and to educate White women. Gabriel Daniels writes about Anais Nin's maid Millicent Fredericks who came from Antigua. Nin could not get past the idea of her as black, exotic (to be painted by 'a Gauguin'), suffering, poor, but she was a teacher in her home country and her work enabled Nin's, as Daniels' poem beautifully and painfully highlights. A point of particular present relevance is well put by doris davenport - 'racism' is like a slimy disease and when accused liberals pull out their creds to show they do not have it. Her theory is that white supremacy in white women arises from an inferiority complex caused by our own powerlessness under patriarchy. Some of the writers, for example Cherrie Moraga herself, are able to 'pass' for white and can choose to identify as women of colour, a choice which Moraga is painfully aware others do not share, and which she identifies as a risk to those who have no choice. Mirtha Quintanales talk of the 'perils of passing' (as cultural/ethnic erasure - which she says should be easier for lesbians to understand) but this discourse can shade painfully into anti-blackness and the collapse of solidarity, as keeps on happening. (White feminists can all too easily fall into the trap of being anti-black when non-black-women-of-colour claim they are being victimised by black women, as it taps into our so easily provoked white-tears. White folks: anti-blackness can occur in all sorts of spaces. Stay accountable.) I loved the interview with Barbara & Beverly Smith on Black feminism. They mention things like white women expressing pride at their decision not to finish school, while black women have no choice and must be twice as qualified to get half as far. They are amused by the 'click' white women mention when they realise they are oppressed as women. Black women are all too conscious from their earliest memories, they say. Also they bear witness to white lesbians accusing black lesbians of being 'male-identified' because they are concerned with issues of racism that affect men! Along with many of the contributors, they critique lesbian separatism (which must have been in vogue) as racist or at least problematic because it ignores structural inequalities other than (hetero)sexism and leaves out huge groups of oppressed people. And again, the choice is not often available to women of colour. Also, the need for collaboration: "Any kind of separatism is a dead end... forming principled coalitions around specific issues is very important." However, as others point out, separatist groups have intermediate use as safe spaces... Much of the work shares positive aspects of Black/[email protected]/Native/Asian culture in contrast to homogenized white American materiality - bland, mass-produced and soulless, celebrating togetherness, music, dance, food and just affirming joy in connection of articulating shared oppression and spending time with people they relate to. Merle Woo charts generational learning: although her mother does not support her activism especially against heterosexism, Woo says that she could not have got where she was without the example of her mother's strength. She is proud to see her own 16 year old daughter 'going for what she wants'. Familial solidarity gave her a sense of self against the racism she experienced, including as a writer, for example a white woman poet criticized her and mentioned 'looking for universal themes' as an argument against addressing race. Of course we know, universal = white. Gloria Anzaldua and others point out that poverty means no time to write: "forget a room of one's own, write in the kitchen". Like Merle Woo, she worries about misrepresenting her mother as a villain when, like all people of colour, she was a victim of the white supremacy that distorted her treatment of her dark-skinned daughter. Anzaldua writes lovingly about writing as (strategic essentialism!) reclamation of subjectivity. As does Nellie Wong, talking to herself, encouraging herself, summing up the wave behind her, driving her to write. The range of the material is huge. Angles I did not expect included Norma Alarcon on Malintzin and Latinas' reactions to the male myth, and Anzaldua & Luisah Teish on spirituality & breaking out of the rationalist paradigm: "The biggest problem that we have had was believing somebody else's story about us" Andrea Canaan mentions that white women have been seen as enemies by black women due to internalised, race-inflected misogyny: 'she seduces black men and cries rape', obviously in order to call for a change of attitude. Another expression of the impulse to move-beyond-dividing-difference (which white feminists have sometimes used against Women of Colour) Pat Parker sees the forces of imperialism "up against the wall" this in 1980. Rather than revolution, imperialism blazed forth with renewed force and refreshed narratives of security against terrorists. Parker reads for us the encouragement to enlist: 'be a good American' "The equation is being laid out in front of us. Good American = Support imperialism and war. To this I must declare - I am not a good American. I do not wish to have the world colonized, bombarded, and plundered in order to eat steak" Chrystos closes the collection. Like the work of other Indian/Native contributors, her words express internal conflict, a morass of grief, pride, anger, the will to go on fighting, faith and hope and love in community. Well, the fight goes on…

  4. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    This is a book I will always be reading, when I'm not lending it out. Way fucking radical, this collection of essays from amazing strong women folk explores race, sexuality, language, love, hate and discrimination. The editors, Gloria Anzaldua and Cherrie Moraga, are two of my favorite writers. They put my experience, fears and hopes into words. Ladies of color this ones for you, even if like me you only have some color. This book changed my life. I would also recommend this to white people, but This is a book I will always be reading, when I'm not lending it out. Way fucking radical, this collection of essays from amazing strong women folk explores race, sexuality, language, love, hate and discrimination. The editors, Gloria Anzaldua and Cherrie Moraga, are two of my favorite writers. They put my experience, fears and hopes into words. Ladies of color this ones for you, even if like me you only have some color. This book changed my life. I would also recommend this to white people, but it might scare the shit out of you.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alyshia

    It's sad to say that it's taken me 24 years to deeply connect with a book. This book feels like a war has been waged inside of me. It feels painful, uncomfortable, yet beautiful all at the same time as I realize that with every turn of the page there are more and more women like me. Strong, willfull, feeling. This is the book I've been waiting for.

  6. 5 out of 5

    K

    This Bridge Called My Back is, unquestionably, one of the most influential books of my life. It would be an impossible task to attempt to quantify what I experienced/got/learned from this book. That being said: This Bridge Called My Back is an anthology of essays, theory,fiction, poetry, and the fusion of all four written by radical women of color. The analysis and honesty with which this book is written creates an endless source of reflection, lesson and/or connection. Although this book came ou This Bridge Called My Back is, unquestionably, one of the most influential books of my life. It would be an impossible task to attempt to quantify what I experienced/got/learned from this book. That being said: This Bridge Called My Back is an anthology of essays, theory,fiction, poetry, and the fusion of all four written by radical women of color. The analysis and honesty with which this book is written creates an endless source of reflection, lesson and/or connection. Although this book came out in the 80s, it is as relevant today as it was then. With contributers such as Audre Lorde, Cherríe Moraga, Barbara Smith, and Gloria Anzaldúa, this book offers clear critique, analysis, and illustration to learn from, to be inspired by, and to challenge. This book (along with La Frontera/Borderlands: The New Mestiza, also by Gloria Anzaldúa) is, hands down, one of the top books that shaped my perspectives on race, class, gender, sexuality, language, colonization, and immigration. It is consistently named as one of the most influential books of countless people in my life, and continues to influence their lives, art, and organizing. READ IT.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Even the revised and updated 2002 version is hard to find, but I would encourage everyone to seek out a copy of this book because the strength, fire and passion of the writing is not to be missed. Everything these women write is still pertinent today - about the intersectionality of oppressions, the racism in the white feminist movement, the crucial need for solidarity across race, class, and gender lines . . . . I think this book should be required reading in all women's studies classes.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Meen

    More than any other I've ever read, this book changed my life.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nikhil

    Before I began this book, I was thinking about why I find it important to read older works of theory/critical essays (Fanon, Cesaire, hooks, Davis, Memmi, Lorde, etc.) rather than more recent texts. I identified three reasons, all of which apply to this text as well: 1. Many theories/ideas that come to be academic mainstream originated by Black and Brown folk outside of/in opposition to the academy. See DuBois regarding the slave trade and Black Reconstruction, various Black Power/Black Feminist Before I began this book, I was thinking about why I find it important to read older works of theory/critical essays (Fanon, Cesaire, hooks, Davis, Memmi, Lorde, etc.) rather than more recent texts. I identified three reasons, all of which apply to this text as well: 1. Many theories/ideas that come to be academic mainstream originated by Black and Brown folk outside of/in opposition to the academy. See DuBois regarding the slave trade and Black Reconstruction, various Black Power/Black Feminist folks and a slew of ideas about prisons, race, policing, etc. I find that reading the sanitized, post-academic treatment of the work erases the fact that these ideas were living ideas routed in experiential knowledge, and that the assertion the ideas was itself part of the struggle. 2. These remain foundational texts. The current generation of radical thinkers draw heavily and are indebted to these texts. Before reading their words, I would like to have a common set of information with them to assess their ideas. 3. Because these ideas are counter to the dominant discourse, they are erased and must be rediscovered every generation. Radical thought, given its liminal status, is inherently lonely. A key component of developing radical consciousness is realizing that folks in generations before you thought similar thoughts, that these ideas are part of a long, hidden tradition. In this way, seeking older texts is about linking generations of folks struggling against power structures together, a search for chosen cross-generational linkages and knowledge transmission. This Bridge satisfies all of these things. It also does much more. It centers a theory of radical transformative justice in repairing family and community relations (what do I claim of my mother?). It pushes past materialist critiques to embrace critiques of spiritual and emotional alienation due to hierarchy (how to live with a rapist god). It roots radical consciousness in an inability to reconcile what one observes in childhood with what one is told. It skewers other radical movements for their failures: the racism and classism in the feminist movement, the homophobia and sexism in various race-based movements, the limited nature of separatist movements, etc, It’s also just really well written. These essays almost all hold up. Most of them remain sharp critiques of dominant discourse even 40 years later.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    What a revelation it was to reread This Bridge Called My Back. Edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua, this collection of writings by “Radical Women of Color,” cracked open the manicured shell of white feminism, revealing its racist, homophobic underbelly. Published in 1981, the book challenged white feminists claims to solidarity, putting forth instead a model of feminism that embraced intersectionality and recognized the multiple identities that exist within each woman, and within each c What a revelation it was to reread This Bridge Called My Back. Edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua, this collection of writings by “Radical Women of Color,” cracked open the manicured shell of white feminism, revealing its racist, homophobic underbelly. Published in 1981, the book challenged white feminists claims to solidarity, putting forth instead a model of feminism that embraced intersectionality and recognized the multiple identities that exist within each woman, and within each community. It gave a platform to a powerful panoply of voices and experiences hereto relegated to the periphery of the movement. Organized loosely by topic, the book combines poetry, memoir, epistles, and essays. No one genre or voice claims authority, but Moraga and Anzaldua form the guiding intelligences and passionate center of the book. I first encountered the book for the first time as an undergrad, and it challenged me, a straight, white girl, cocooned within middle-class privilege, to acknowledge my unconscious complicity in my sisters’ oppression. It also allowed me to embrace my own repressed artistic identity, and to recognize that my “self” too, was not in fact singular, but a multiplicity. Traducción de Lis Arévalo Qué revelación fue leer Este puente, mi espalda. Editado por Cherríe Moraga y Gloria Anzaldua, esta colección escrita por “Mujeres Radicales de Color” rompió la manicurada caparazón del feminismo blanco, revelando sus entrañas racistas y homófobas. Publicado en 1981, el libro desafió los llamados a la solidaridad de las feministas blancas, poniéndolos en contraste con un modelo de feminismo que abrazaba la interseccionalidad y reconocía las múltiples identidades que existen dentro de cada mujer y dentro de cada comunidad. Ofreció así plataforma a una poderosa panoplia de voces y experiencias relegadas a la periferia del movimiento. Organizado libremente por temas, el libro combina poesía, memorias, epístolas y ensayos. Ningún género o voz se apodera de la autoridad, pero Moraga y Anzaldua destacan como las inteligencias rectoras y el apasionado centro del libro. Me lo encontré por primera vez en el pregrado y me desafió a mí, una muchacha hetero, blanca, encerrada en el privilegio de la clase media, a reconocer mi complicidad inconsciente en la opresión de mis hermanas. También me permitió abrazar mi propia identidad artística reprimida y reconocer que mi «ser» tampoco era singular en realidad, sino una multiplicidad. http://pasajero.utero.pe/2018/11/22/b...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mattilda

    My favorite piece is the conversation between twin sisters Beverly and Barbara Smith -- all the layers of complexity, understanding, awareness, and even hints of conflict and contradiction! And that’s the amazing thing about the book -- that the whole thing functions as an extended conversation between radical women of color, and reading it we got to sense, experience, question, gasping in awareness and expression, the way the essays sometimes read like poetry and the poetry like essays and the My favorite piece is the conversation between twin sisters Beverly and Barbara Smith -- all the layers of complexity, understanding, awareness, and even hints of conflict and contradiction! And that’s the amazing thing about the book -- that the whole thing functions as an extended conversation between radical women of color, and reading it we got to sense, experience, question, gasping in awareness and expression, the way the essays sometimes read like poetry and the poetry like essays and the manifestos like something in between and the editors weave quotes from the essays into their introductions and this all makes it speak both inside and outside the texts and even the parts that are now dated still shine in emotion and commitment, the clumsier pieces illuminate and sometimes the clumsiness becomes part of the analysis, this drive towards clarity that sometimes ends, or sometimes clarity ends this drive. All of that. What I’m saying is that everything feels so engaged -- in the conversation, in the work to challenge and invoke differences and build analysis towards substantive change.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tinea

    A great intro to intersectionality: how race, gender, sexuality, immigration status, language, and class interact with each other in the lives of women of color in the US. An anthology of personal experience in poems, theory, essays, letters, and interviews. This book must have been groundbreaking when it came out in 1981. The authors repeatedly write about how they could find nothing in contemporary literature on race and gender that spoke to the complexities of oppression and resistance in thei A great intro to intersectionality: how race, gender, sexuality, immigration status, language, and class interact with each other in the lives of women of color in the US. An anthology of personal experience in poems, theory, essays, letters, and interviews. This book must have been groundbreaking when it came out in 1981. The authors repeatedly write about how they could find nothing in contemporary literature on race and gender that spoke to the complexities of oppression and resistance in their lives. Without a cannon to fall back on, they decided to take the task on themselves. "This Bridge Called My Back" is an important read both for its (still relevant) analysis, and as a primary source critique of second wave feminism that was dominated by the needs and interests of middle class, white heterosexual women. A few really great essays, but the book is best taken as a whole.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Eve Lyons

    This book is the single most important book in the feminist canon. Read it now.

  14. 4 out of 5

    R

    Tw: Transmisogyny mention First things first: Like most books with various perspectives/articles, it's unlikely that as the reader we'll enjoy/like every essay/article/poem, etc. Although there were a hand full of pieces that I thought were incredibly well done, and made very important points, I really couldn't get past the fact that there were no (openly) trans women involved. Basically, this book was originally published in the 80's and at that point in time, all the contributors identified as Tw: Transmisogyny mention First things first: Like most books with various perspectives/articles, it's unlikely that as the reader we'll enjoy/like every essay/article/poem, etc. Although there were a hand full of pieces that I thought were incredibly well done, and made very important points, I really couldn't get past the fact that there were no (openly) trans women involved. Basically, this book was originally published in the 80's and at that point in time, all the contributors identified as (cisgender) women. In 2015, the fourth edition was released, with an update on the authors where we find out some have (since the original publishing) come out as trans men, yet their articles remained. Honestly, if they had kept the original articles, but had added some pieces from trans woman, I wouldn't have complained. Or, if they had removed the pieces that were written by men, that would have been fine too. But to leave articles written by dudes in a book that's supposed to be about womanhood, is super messed up. Not to mention the fact that to continue to sell/advertise the book as for and by women, is to misgender the trans men who have contributed. It's also really sad to see a book that went so far out of it's way to include so many women with different experiences, leave out trans women of color, especially when twoc face multiple forms of oppression and marginalization and have so little representation as is. To leave them out, but to include trans men, is just truly heart breaking all around, and made this book a major disappointment.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kelechi

    Definitely a book worthy of the praise that inspired me to purchase it. At first I struggled with names and references made and inaccurately claimed that Warsan Shire was mentioned when it was another name I was attempting to articulate (feminist fail). I feel more knowledgable and confident after reading the writings of so many wonderful feminists. My favourite section happens to be a poem which I plan to recite to white feminist "allies" who aggressively shun intersectionality. Read this book. Definitely a book worthy of the praise that inspired me to purchase it. At first I struggled with names and references made and inaccurately claimed that Warsan Shire was mentioned when it was another name I was attempting to articulate (feminist fail). I feel more knowledgable and confident after reading the writings of so many wonderful feminists. My favourite section happens to be a poem which I plan to recite to white feminist "allies" who aggressively shun intersectionality. Read this book. xoxo

  16. 5 out of 5

    Stefani

    I'm so happy to have read this book which is a foundation of third wave (read: women of color) feminism. Some of the stories are really dense and full of language that we don't really use anymore, like "Third World feminists," but the poems in particular were quite mesmerizing and profound. This book has been on my to-read list for a while, and I'm glad I finally got around to it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    I read this during my undergrad degree, and remember being deeply impressed. Certainly a key text, and one that remains relevant and insightful. Zanna wrote an excellent review of it in 2014, so go read that...

  18. 5 out of 5

    R

    You haven't read anything until you have read this, the brave poetry that comes along breaks you apart and pulls you together.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ai Miller

    Just incredible, obviously. Even when they contradict one another, each piece is just so rich and powerful. Cherríe Moraga's introductions to the sections, especially talking about lesbianism as an orientation towards women and how that made her a feminist, are breath-taking, and Audre Lorde fucks me up every time in the absolute best ways. Some of it maybe might seem dated to people, or the historical context might mean you miss some things (I don't know that the editor's added notes giving tha Just incredible, obviously. Even when they contradict one another, each piece is just so rich and powerful. Cherríe Moraga's introductions to the sections, especially talking about lesbianism as an orientation towards women and how that made her a feminist, are breath-taking, and Audre Lorde fucks me up every time in the absolute best ways. Some of it maybe might seem dated to people, or the historical context might mean you miss some things (I don't know that the editor's added notes giving that context are honestly all that helpful in this regard,) but regardless, it's absolutely a required read and I want to go out and buy copies of it for every single woman I know.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Andria Tattersfield

    makes me feel whole

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ana Yarí

    I've been reading this book sporadically since college; usually the essays that I needed for papers, etc. This is my first time reading it through in one go. It's a lovely and surreal experience to revisit the kinds of ideas and writers that influenced my conception of radical feminism over the years. It was interesting for me to experience how far the feminist movement has come, and how we're still doing the same work and having the same conversations 30+ years later. It's frustrating and illumi I've been reading this book sporadically since college; usually the essays that I needed for papers, etc. This is my first time reading it through in one go. It's a lovely and surreal experience to revisit the kinds of ideas and writers that influenced my conception of radical feminism over the years. It was interesting for me to experience how far the feminist movement has come, and how we're still doing the same work and having the same conversations 30+ years later. It's frustrating and illuminating and motivating. Some of the attitudes and essays in this collection were challenging, in that great way that forces you to challenge your ideas and preconceived conceptions while others were infuriating and in many ways obsolete. I was able to track my own progress in how I used to think about intersectional feminism and how I am today with regards to my reaction reading these essays. I don't know what my feminism would be without this book and especially without the work of Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa whose work provided me with one of the most influential frameworks when thinking about the different intersections of feminism. Their voice, in many ways, gave me my voice, or at least the beginning. Needless to say I highly recommend this book. Especially as a "classic" that has managed to age well in many ways.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rowan

    POPSUGAR 2017 Reading Challenge prompt 'A book with a red spine' I am deeply moved by the Native and Latina perspectives here. Jo Carillo's Beyond the Cliffs of Abiquiu particularly struck me, as I live in Albuquerque, and I know just the type of white person that the poem is about. I ride my bike past the store named Bilagaanas. "White people." And yeah, it's all white people who shop there for the "Authentic Navajo Hopi Zuni Indian made real live Laguna Santa Ana Santo Domingo artifacts." It mak POPSUGAR 2017 Reading Challenge prompt 'A book with a red spine' I am deeply moved by the Native and Latina perspectives here. Jo Carillo's Beyond the Cliffs of Abiquiu particularly struck me, as I live in Albuquerque, and I know just the type of white person that the poem is about. I ride my bike past the store named Bilagaanas. "White people." And yeah, it's all white people who shop there for the "Authentic Navajo Hopi Zuni Indian made real live Laguna Santa Ana Santo Domingo artifacts." It makes me laugh, but it also makes me horribly sad.

  23. 5 out of 5

    andrea m. s.

    "I wonder why there are women born with silver spoons in their mouths Women who have never known a day of hunger Women who have never changed their own bed linen And I wonder why there are women who must work Women who must clean other women's houses Women who must shell shrimps for pennies a day Women who must sew other women's clothes Who must cook Who must die In childbirth In dreams"

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    This is a really important and seminal text in the studies of feminism, racism and homophobia, and it's amazing how so much of it is still relevant today. I'm really glad I've read this book and I think it's a great resource to going about being critical of wider society and also of ourselves. I don't agree with all of it (definitely some transmisogyny and other issues) but I agree with the vast majority of it and I definitely recommend this book, it's shook me to my core.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    Identity politics examined. Womyn of Color from the 1960s and 70s share their perspective on life and the struggle of the movement. Absolutely on of my guides to finding myself and place in the US. It's a book that leads to discoveries and confirmations of self. Must read for any womyn of color.

  26. 4 out of 5

    The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears

    Forget Germaine Greer and Betty Freidan, THIS book along with Sister/Outsider were the books which shaped my feminism. Should be read by those mainstream feminsists who still don't understand why a show like Girls is major FAIL. Oh, and Gloria Steinem needs a copy too, since she thinks that women of color should put gender before race.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mignon King

    I haven't read it in years, but I intend to go back to it. It's the 21st century, yet this book is still relevant...because I am still one of the few Black women friends that my White friends have. Seriously? I'm nearly fifty. I'm not angry, but a sister sure is getting tired.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bianca

    Incredible for so many reasons! This is not just a collection of essays—it's full of poetry, speeches, interviews and art and it is at no point tedious. The writings are so personal, and despite being decades old they are still so relevant. Great read!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rianna Jade

    Easily one of the most important books I'll ever read. I found myself having to stop and catch my breath more that a few times.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    A must read, especially for men

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