Rowena's Reviews > This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color

This Bridge Called My Back by Cherríe L. Moraga
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it was amazing
bookshelves: feminism
Recommended for: All women

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.
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Quotes Rowena Liked

Cherríe L. Moraga
“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.”
Cherríe L. Moraga, This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color

Cherríe L. Moraga
“I am what I am and you can't take it away with all the words and sneers at your command.”
Cherríe L. Moraga, This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color


Reading Progress

December 14, 2011 – Shelved
July 9, 2012 – Shelved as: feminism
February 10, 2013 – Started Reading
February 10, 2013 –
page 27
10.34%
February 10, 2013 –
page 53
20.31%
February 11, 2013 –
page 84
32.18%
February 11, 2013 –
page 84
32.18%
February 12, 2013 –
page 120
45.98%
February 12, 2013 –
page 152
58.24%
February 13, 2013 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-25 of 25 (25 new)

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message 1: by Mikey B. (new)

Mikey B. Great Review - sounds most intriguing and soul-searching.
I have added this to my list.


Rowena Thanks so much, Michael! I hope you enjoy it. It's quite a hard one to find so hopefully you can get it at your local library:)


message 3: by Ian (new)

Ian "Marvin" Graye Rowena wrote: "...it's your wildness I am in love with."

Say it loud!


Rowena Ian wrote: "Rowena wrote: "...it's your wildness I am in love with."

Say it loud!"


LOL! Now you've made me think of that James Brown song :D


message 5: by Ian (new)

Ian "Marvin" Graye How could you ever stop thinking about James Brown songs?

"I feel good. Da de la de lump."


Rowena That is such a good question :D Have you heard him singing "This is a Man's World" with Luciano Pavarotti?


message 7: by Lance (new)

Lance Greenfield Great review Rowena.

I have to say that your expression "women of colour" seems very quaint to me, and delicate. I like it!

What I get from your review is that this book would also be inspirational for men: at least giving us pause for thought.

You are an intellectual woman, and quite inspiring in your own right. Sorry. You said you didn't want to get personal.


message 8: by Ian (new)

Ian "Marvin" Graye Rowena wrote: "That is such a good question :D Have you heard him singing "This is a Man's World" with Luciano Pavarotti?"

Proof a white woman can sing the blues:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dw5Mme...

Please excuse the YouTube desynchronisation.


Rowena Lance Greenfield wrote: "Great review Rowena.

I have to say that your expression "women of colour" seems very quaint to me, and delicate. I like it!

What I get from your review is that this book would also be inspiratio..."


Thank you so much, Lance! Very nice of you to say:)Yes, I do believe this book should be read by everyone; I feel there are groups/populations of people that we know very little about (gay Asian women's problems, for example) and it's always rewarding to learn :)


Rowena Ian wrote: "Rowena wrote: "That is such a good question :D Have you heard him singing "This is a Man's World" with Luciano Pavarotti?"

Proof a white woman can sing the blues:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D..."


She's amazing! I can kinda see Dusty Springfield singing this song too. Thanks for sharing :)


message 11: by Tiffani (new) - added it

Tiffani Great review. I'm intrigued.


Rowena Tiffani wrote: "Great review. I'm intrigued."

Thanks Tiffani:) It's definitely a book I would love to read again sometime.


message 13: by Frederic (new) - added it

Frederic  Germay I might not be in the key demographic, but your glowing review speaks of the book's power. Also, that quote is just so magnificent, I love it!


Rowena Thank you Frederic :) I think that you would still enjoy it, maybe you won't have as much of an emotional connection as I did with it but I think you'd like the activism aspect. I would love to read a man's take on the book.


message 15: by Frederic (new) - added it

Frederic  Germay It does sound very appealing, I'll check it out.


message 16: by Lucie (new) - added it

Lucie Smoker Now I seriously want to check out this book, thank you. In a similar vein, i think women who have experienced abuse or violence should embrace any form of self expression. I too am in love with the wildness of the pen.


Rowena Please do, Lucie! And I agree with your sentiment. Now you mention it, that's probably what Addie was doing with her art in your novel:)


message 18: by Meriam (new) - added it

Meriam Kharbat This is a Wonderful review Rowena! I think people of every gender, color and race had to deal with identity issues at some point. Especially for those who are aware of being different.

I absolutely love this quote you added: “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.”


Rowena Thank you Meriam:) I think you're right. I wasn't going to write about my former identity issues because I felt that it might be too personal, but then I thought it's actually quite common and it's good to share things like that.

I love that quote too, I think it sums up me perfectly:)


message 20: by Ian (new)

Ian "Marvin" Graye Actually, both quotes are very impressive.


Rowena I love the imagery in the second quote myself. I like the idea of a pen pirouetting :)


message 22: by Tom LA (new)

Tom LA Very good review! I like to think of all of modern history as a constant, progressive increase in collective self-awareness. Not only by women or by minority groups, but by mankind as a whole. Under this light, the deepest root of many social issues is ignorance, and with it, collective fears that are wrong or misplaced. It might not be as crystal-clear, and it certainly is slow, but from this point of view, I see a progression. We often hear complaints about the "old values" that supposedly don't exist anymore, but you know what that is? Values are still around. It's just that we are not allowed to see the world in such a simple, manicheistic way as we did 60 years ago. We are opening our eyes to a much more complex world. Things are getting better. This is the positive side of today's hyper-information age. Oh yes, of course the negative side is that we're all flipping neurotics!! : )


Elizabeth Cárdenas Excellent review!


Rowena Tabasco wrote: "Very good review! I like to think of all of modern history as a constant, progressive increase in collective self-awareness. Not only by women or by minority groups, but by mankind as a whole. Unde..."

Thanks Tabasco! And you're so right about that:) I have to be a tad pessimistic and say that I seem to encounter so many people who aren't too interested in stepping out of their bubble and learning more about how to become more self-aware. On the other hand, it's so clear by looking at academia that the knowledge base has diversified and become more inclusive (when I was in high school, I never thought I'd ever read a book by an African feminist, for example).

Good point about old values too. And thanks for teaching me a new word (manicheistic) :)


Rowena Elizabeth wrote: "Excellent review!"

Thanks, Elizabeth! :)


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