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

4.44  ·  Rating Details ·  5,954 Ratings  ·  179 Reviews
This groundbreaking collection reflects an uncompromised definition of feminism by women of color. 65,000 copies in print.
Paperback, 261 pages
Published March 1st 1983 by Kitchen Table--Women of Color Press (first published 1981)
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Dec 14, 2011 Rowena rated it it was amazing
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
May 21, 2008 simon rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 29, 2013 Zanna rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Zanna by: Rowena
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
Jan 25, 2008 Katie rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 09, 2008 Meen rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
Jul 02, 2014 Alyshia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poc
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.
Mar 03, 2016 Jonathan rated it it was amazing
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...
Jul 29, 2008 K rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 25, 2013 Kelechi rated it it was amazing
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.
Real Supergirl
Jun 01, 2007 Real Supergirl rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, feminism
This book is the single most important book in the feminist canon. Read it now.
Feb 16, 2011 Lettycia rated it it was amazing
cherrie moraga, la guera, y que!
Ana Feliciano
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
POPSUGAR 2017 Reading Challenge prompt 'A book with a red spine'

I find myself disappointed with this book. It's been recommended to me over and over again.

On one hand, 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 fo
Jan 03, 2017 R rated it did not like it
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
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
Apr 06, 2009 Tinea rated it liked it
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
Aug 28, 2013 TheFountainPenDiva marked it as to-read
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.
May 24, 2007 Diana rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 18, 2012 Stefani rated it really liked it
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.
Mignon King
Dec 09, 2012 Mignon King rated it really liked it
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.
Rianna Jade
Jul 19, 2012 Rianna Jade rated it it was amazing
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.
Nov 23, 2014 Víctor rated it it was amazing
Un must pero must de que non me dirixas a palabra se non o pretendes ler
Riya Ghosh
Nov 17, 2014 Riya Ghosh rated it it was amazing
You haven't read anything until you have read this,

the brave poetry that comes along breaks you apart and pulls you together.

Aleida M.
Feb 05, 2014 Aleida M. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
describing anything using the phrase "life changing" is not common for me. i can appreciate things, and notice their impact on my life and appreciate that, but i have never felt overwhelmingly changed by a piece of literature until i read this bridge called my back. i read the book in a few sittings because i would weep with every individual selection sometimes out of admiration, sometimes out of pain, sometimes out of anger for the situations of the speaker. there was not a single occasion wher ...more
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
Jul 21, 2012 Lauren rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 26, 2008 Jude rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 19, 2010 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: essential
'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
Mar 25, 2015 kripsoo rated it it was amazing
This is such an important anthology of writings by radical women of color on the politics of race, gender, class and sexual orientation. Though it is more than two decades old, the essays and poetry are still ispirational and relevant. Indeed, I strongly feel that this is a book that every feminist should read. That said, I am utterly baffled by how difficult it is to obtain. Could it really be out of print? If so, I hope (hint, hint) that some progressive publishing company like AK Press, South ...more
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Cherríe Lawrence Moraga (born September 25, 1952) is a Chicana writer, feminist activist, poet, essayist, and playwright. She is part of the faculty at Stanford University in the Department of Drama and Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. Her works explore the ways in which gender, sexuality and race intersect in the lives of women of color.

Moraga was one of the few writers to write and int
More about Cherríe L. Moraga...

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“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.” 17 likes
“I am what I am and you can't take it away with all the words and sneers at your command.” 13 likes
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