On the long awaited 4th Edition of “This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color”

I Transfer and Go Underground

A love letter. Some random musings. Or a disjointed rant on the long awaited 4th Edition of “This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color”, edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa. Un mil gracias SUNY Press!

Thank you SUNY Press!

Thank you SUNY Press!

My formal introduction to Indigenous and race-radical women of color feminism was violent, namely due to my own life experience as a survivor of sexual and state violence, my social location as a mixed-race queer woman of color from an urban working-class/working-poor background, and to the wider political conjuncture that was taking place when I was introduced to this activist tradition. Like many poor queer youth of color growing up in the ‘shadow of the prison’ in the 80s and 90s in “Golden Gulag” (Gilmore 2007a) California, feminism—or what I thought at the time was feminism—didn’t speak to me or to anyone else in my hood. It didn’t help me to understand why and how California became comprised overnight of over nine hundred miles of concrete prisons overflowing with the caged bodies of the ‘surplus population’ of young men and women of color victimized by ‘The War on Drugs’ and by other horrors that start with the letter ‘D’: devolution, downsizing, deindustrialization, and dehumanization. What I would later understand to be white, upper- middle-class, hetero “hegemonic feminism” (a.k.a. “whitestream feminism”) just didn’t do it for me like queer Black and Chicana feminisms and “This Bridge Called My Back” (Moraga and Anzaldúa 1983) feminist praxis would. While “a principled sense of mortal urgency” (Gilmore 2007a, 251) has continued to propel me to act, race-radical women of color feminist thought has continued to teach me to act strategically and tactically, to possess a healthy distrust of easy, instantaneous solutions, and—as sister Audre Lorde reminded us in her poem “A Litany for Survival” (Lorde 1995)—“to speak, remembering, we were never meant to survive.” Continue reading

With No Immediate Cause (Ntzoke Shange), Performed by the Third Eye Collective

third eye collective

In this video essay directed and produced by Lena Palacios and “MIZShama”, members of the Third Eye Collective perform Black feminist Ntozake Shange’s poem “With No Immediate Cause” while riding the Montreal metro.

Shange’s poem begins with statistics that viscerally pushes us into awareness about the endemic and unrelenting nature of intimate, sexual, and state violence against Black women and girls (“every 3 minutes a woman is beaten/every five minutes a woman is raped/every ten minutes a little girl is molested”).

Lena Palacios is an emerging video artist and was the recipient of the  SAW Video Media Art Centre‘s Cultural Equity Production Fund. The Cultural Equity fund is a production support program that provides opportunities for visible minority artists to express themselves creatively through the medium of video.

With No Immediate Cause

every 3 minutes a woman is beaten

every five minutes a

woman is raped/every ten minutes

a…

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