Social Theory: The Multicultural and Classic Readings

By Charles Lemert | Go to book overview
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Black feminist thought's emphasis on the ongoing interplay between Black women's oppression and Black women's activism presents the matrix of domination as responsive to human agency. Such thought views the world as a dynamic place where the goal is not merely to survive or to fit in or to cope; rather, it becomes a place where we feel ownership and accountability. The existence of Afrocentric feminist thought suggests that there is always choice, and power to act, no matter how bleak the situation may appear to be. Viewing the world as one in the making raises the issue of individual responsibility for bringing about change. It also shows that while individual empowerment is key, only collective action can effectively generate lasting social transformation of political and economic institutions.❖

Gloria Anzaldúa ( 1942-) writes fiction and nonfiction, including social theory, with intentional reference to her multiple identities--Chicana, tejana (Indian), lesbian, feminist, poet. She has taught and lectured at many institutions, including the University of Texas, San Francisco State, and Vermont College. The selections are from Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza ( 1987), a blend of poetry and autobiography in which the reader can readily discern her social theory. She is the editor of Making Face, Making Soul/Haciendo Cara ( 1990) and coeditor (with Cherrié Moraga) of This Bridge Called My Back ( 1981), which together are the best available resources for writings in the women-of-color tradition.


The New Mestiza

Gloria Anzaldúa ( 1987)

El otro México que acá hemos construido el espacio es lo que ha sido territorio nacional. Esté el esfuerzo de todos nuestros hermanos y latinoamericanos que han sabido progressar.

--Los Tigres del Norte

"The Aztecas del norte. . . compose the largest single tribe or nation of Anishinabeg (Indians) found in the United States today. . . . Some call themselves Chicanos and see themselves as people whose true homeland is Aztlná [the U.S. Southwest]."

Wind tugging at my sleeve feet sinking into the sand I stand at the edge where earth touches ocean where the two overlap a gentle coming together at other times and places a violent clash.

____________________
Excerpt from Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza ( San Francisco: Spinsters/Aunt Lute, 1987), pp. 1-8. 1987 by Gloria Anzaldáa. Reprinted by permission of Aunt Lute Books.

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Social Theory: The Multicultural and Classic Readings
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