This Bridge Called My ...
Gloria E. Anzaldúa
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This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color

4.42 of 5 stars 4.42  ·  rating details  ·  4,081 ratings  ·  113 reviews
This groundbreaking collection reflects an uncompromised definition of feminism by women of color. 65,000 copies in print.
Hardcover, 261 pages
Published March 1st 1983 by Kitchen Table--Women of Color Press (first published 1981)
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Dec 04, 2013 Rowena rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All women
Shelves: feminism
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,...more
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...more
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,...more
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...more
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.
Jan 03, 2010 Meen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: It is required reading for humanity.
Recommended to Meen by: Allan G. Johnson in Power, Privilege, & Difference
More than any other I've ever read, this book changed my life.
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.
cherrie moraga, la guera, y que!
Claire S
This book made a big impression on me when I was assigned it, during my Women's Studies period. The central idea - that people in the majority culture are responsible for their own education regarding people in other cultures - has stayed with me. The inherent anger, or something like anger, maybe simply self-assertion? - of it has also remained. I kind of assign that same stance to people I come across, without it necessarily being valid. I also haven't read it all, probably just one or two sel...more
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...more
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...more
Aug 26, 2008 Jude rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Jude by: gifts of athena bookstore
thanks to mindy for calling this book back for me. time to re-read.

Many years ago this was the primary textbook i went to when the message that i (and other well intentioned white women) got from the women of color in our community was: "Look. Racism is your construct. You wanna understand it, do the work. We do not owe you an education." I mean of course they DID educate and explain and challenge and sigh and laugh and get fed up, etc etc. But i learned the real nature of respect from their nam...more
Dec 04, 2013 Tinea rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tinea by: Otter
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...more
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....more
May 24, 2007 Diana rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: definetely
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.
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.
Real Supergirl
This book is the single most important book in the feminist canon. Read it now.
Another one of those books that everyone should read.
Tombom P
For some reason I went into this thinking it was some sort of feminist manifesto, but it's an anthology of experiences of women of color, told through essays, poetry, biography and only sometimes political manifesto. It focuses particularly on experiences in feminism and those interpreted through feminist ideas but the focus is by no means exclusive. It has some limitations within its remit such as those mentioned in the introduction - eg limited to the US, almost exclusively talks about lesbian...more
AdultNonFiction Teton County Library
Teton County Library Call No: Must be ILLed
Marisa's rating: 4 stars

This is a unique book covering some feminist topics not covered in the standard reader. While it is a bit old, it contains several essays by feminists of color discussing their experience, racism, poverty, the prevalence of racism in the feminist movement in the early 1980s and most importantly the individual experiences of asian pacific, black, american indian and latina/chicana women. I found this extremely interesting as well...more
Teton County Library Call No: Must be ILLed

This is a unique book covering some feminist topics not covered in the standard reader. While it is a bit old, it contains several essays by feminists of color discussing their experience, racism, poverty, the prevalence of racism in the feminist movement in the early 1980s and most importantly the individual experiences of asian pacific, black, american indian and latina/chicana women. I found this extremely interesting as well as startling. It once ag...more
Prior to reading this book, I knew that it was an important anthology, not just in terms of feminism and racial identity, but from a "first of its kind" historical standpoint as well, and so while I was keen to read the book, I was also a bit anxious that I wouldn't "get" it or fully appreciate it, or that I'd find it too dry and have to force myself to finish it etc. I'm happy to say that that wasn't the case. In fact it was a hard book to put down, and that's not praise I often give to a book,...more
(10/10) Essay collections are usually pretty perfunctory as books -- there may be good pieces in them, but the book itself is just a containing mechanism. This is the exception. Somehow or other all of the different perspectives or different styles come together to form a beautiful, multifaceted whole. Poetry merges with memoir merges with theory to create something that feels like the only real way to express and interrogate impression. The different perspectives, far from diluting the book, he...more
A challenging collection of essays, poems, and writings from third world women/women of color in the U.S.
The writers address the racism present in the women's movement at the end of the 1970s and early 1980s, as well as discuss the challenges they face as women of color in the U.S. and as feminists (and/or lesbians) in their communities of color.

Many of the pieces are moving; some are anger-inspiring (sometimes in solidarity with the authors, sometimes against the authors); and almost all led me...more
I am thrilled I picked up this book, because the voices represented in it - Asian-American, Chicana, Native-American, lesbian, and so on - are absolutely incendiary. Hallelujah to my finally discovering a collection of thoughtful writings by minority women (though the onus is on me now to find literature from Southeast Asian females, who I have to imagine have a limited body of work).

Overall, a good primer for me on some problems in feminism, as well as a rousing anthology of underrepresented, e...more
This Bridge Called My Back is an (sort of) essential anthology to understand where feminism is today; because of its importance, I rated the book much higher than I actually felt about the it. I'm not a fan of most poetry, and the pieces in the book did not change my inclinations. Also, the book is mostly reactionary to the racism in the second wave. The contributors are great in calling out middle class white women's poor (or non-existent) racial analysis, but many fail to recognize that not al...more
'we have learned to live with these contradictions. this is the root of our radicalism.'

i have meant to find this book for so long, and finally got it from the public library. hidden in the stacks, no creases, i wish i could send this to so many people. find it.

i need these reminders, when my days aren't oriented around reading theory and stories...
i keep meaning to write a zine or essay about my radicalness around my mixed background and my experience as a woman of color who passes very frequen...more
If you've done *any* thinking/learning about Feminism in the US, you will have come across women of color who have attested to the exclusionary (white-privileged, -centered) nature of the movement through the ages. If you are in any way confused as to why this is, read this book.

"This Bridge..." incorporates incisive analysis, wandering prose, poetry, correspondence, and theatre written by Black, Latina/Chicana, Asian, & Native women in the US -- many of whom are queer. Though published in...more
By all standards, this is exactly the kind of book I would love - essays and poems about race, gender, sexuality, society etc. Part of it may have been my VERY high expectations, but I was really disappointed. Too many of the pieces came off as heat-of-the-moment anger, not well-researched or well-formulated arguments. Similar to how people only think of Freud when they hear about psychology, people think of these kinds of criticisms when they hear about identity politics. Finally, what irritate...more
seriously, a book to read and re-read. so many things to learn! so many amazing, brilliant voices. I love that the anthology contains a lot of conflict, both in terms of conflicted positionalities (i.e. being forced to "choose" your woman or person of color identity), as well as internal conflicts over responses and solutions to complex problems. The anthology converses with itself, argues with itself, builds upon itself. And at the same time, it leaves me with the feeling of community,...more
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Gloria E. Anzaldúa was a scholar of Chicana cultural theory, feminist theory, and queer theory. She loosely based her best-known book, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, on her life growing up on the Mexican-Texas border and incorporated her lifelong feelings of social and cultural marginalization into her work.

When she was eleven, her family relocated to Hargill, Texas. Despite feeling dis...more
More about Gloria E. Anzaldúa...
Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza Making Face, Making Soul/Haciendo Caras: Creative and Critical Perspectives by Feminists of Color This Bridge We Call Home: Radical Visions for Transformation The Gloria Anzaldúa Reader Friends from the Other Side/Amigos del otro lado

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“I am what I am and you can't take it away with all the words and sneers at your command.” 11 likes
“I am a woman with a foot in both worlds; and I refuse the split. I feel the necessity for dialogue. Sometimes I feel it urgently.” 8 likes
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