Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism
Published: April 2002
About the Book
It has been decades since women of color first turned feminism upside down, exposing the ‘70s feminist movement as exclusive, white, and unaware of the concerns and issues of women of color from around the globe. Now a new generation of brilliant, outspoken women of color is speaking to the concerns of a new feminism, and to their place in it.
Daisy Hernandez of Ms. magazine and poet Bushra Rehman have collected a diverse, lively group of emerging writers who speak to their experience—to the strength and rigidity of community and religion, to borders and divisions, both internal and external—and address issues that take feminism into the twenty-first century. One writer describes herself as a "mixed brown girl, Sri-Lankan and New England mill-town white trash," and clearly delineates the organizing differences between whites and women of color: "We do not kick ass the way the white girls do, in meetings of NOW or riot grrl. For us, it's all about family." A Korean-American woman struggles to create her own identity in a traditional community: "Yam-ja-neh means nice, sweet, compliant. I've heard it used many times by my parents' friends who don't know shit about me." An Arab-American feminist deconstructs the "quaint vision" of Middle-Eastern women with which most Americans feel comfortable.
This impressive array of first-person accounts adds a much-needed fresh dimension to the ongoing dialogue between race and gender, and gives voice to the women who are creating and shaping the feminism of the future.
“The young mujeres in Colonize This! bear eloquent witness to the splintering effects of colonialism, conflicts between realities, and contradictions and challenges common to these times. Buffeted by old and new injustices, these girls of color struggle to find their feet on the constantly shifting spaces and multiple mundos they occupy. Seeking places of belonging, they re-cover hemselves and their historias, honoring their mothers and redefining women-of-color feminisms. In an inclusive struggle that resists separatist ideologies, they continue the culture of activism, creating conocimientos that heal. Hernández and Rehman’s clear, crisp editing of these raw and honest testimonios make Colonize This! an extremely readable, teachable libro. Well done, mijas.”
—Gloria E. Anzaldúa, author of Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza
“A desperately needed and lovingly executed collection, Colonize This! is a critical contribution to the growing body of third wave literature. Penning complex personal narratives with massive political implications, these young women pick up where foremothers Audre Lorde and Gloria Anzaldúa left off. A must for young women of color searching for themselves within contemporary feminist/womanist discourse, and anyone else who wants to get down with the fierceness of fly, intellectual divas of color.”
—Rebecca Walker, author of Black, White, and Jewish