Journeys That Opened Up the World: Women, Student Christian Movements, and Social Justice, 1955-1975

By Sara M. Evans | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 16
Margarita Mendoza
de Sugiyama

I was born into a migratory farmworker family in Yakima, Washington, in 1949, the second oldest of eleven children. I was a part of a huge extended Mexican family system that was pretty raucous and worked the fields. Everyone used to refer to my grandparents' place as “God's Little Acre” because it had horses and chickens and cows and goats and a huge garden. My mom and dad moved into a little house that was built right next to my grandparents', and I always felt a part of that place. My grandmother was kind of the crew boss for all the grandchildren and the little kids. When we were out in the fields, she was the one who came behind us and cleaned up the rows that we were working on, whether it be strawberries or potatoes or beets.

Somehow, a critical Good Chicana attribute got lost on me, because I was never submissive. I was never willing to shut up if I thought I was right, and I always had the support of my mother and my grandmother. They were the two people who had the greatest influence on me. They would protect me even when I was fairly outrageous. Now, in middle age, I still aspire to be like my mother. Despite her incredibly difficult life, she had such serenity and a kindness about her. She was always out there rescuing people who needed love and caring. My grandmother was also one of those who cared for the community. She was known as a curandera, a healer, a spiritual doctor, a counselor. Her mother-in-law, my great-grandmother, whose name was Teresita Valdez, was also a curandera. She was the one who led my family from Colorado to Washington. She had five sons, and during the Depression they heard there were jobs in the state of Washington. So the whole community, the barrio that they lived in, came to Washington to look for work. When they got to the Yakima River—this is the story my grandmother told us—

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Journeys That Opened Up the World: Women, Student Christian Movements, and Social Justice, 1955-1975
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Journeys That Opened Up the World *
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes *
  • Chapter 1 - Ruth Harris 15
  • Chapter 2 - Jeanne Audrey Powers 45
  • Chapter 3 - Rebecca Owen 66
  • Chapter 4 - Elmira Kendricks Nazombe 84
  • Chapter 5 - Jill Foreman 104
  • Chapter 6 - Charlotte Bunch 122
  • Chapter 7 - Tamela Hultman 140
  • Chapter 8 - M. Sheila Mccurdy 157
  • Chapter 9 - Alice Hageman 174
  • Chapter 10 - Jan Griesinger 191
  • Chapter 11 - Eleanor Scott Meyers 208
  • Chapter 12 - Nancy D. Richardson 226
  • Chapter 13 - The Repairer of the Breach (isaiah 58:12) 237
  • Chapter 14 - Renetia Martin 240
  • Chapter 15 - Frances E. Kendall 249
  • Chapter 16 - Margarita Mendoza De Sugiyama 262
  • Notes on Contributors 271
  • Index 275
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