A M’ija to Meet: Marisol, Puerto Rican

September 26, 2007 at 10:21 pm 2 comments

What I love about being Latina:  Having an earthy Taina on my left-side, a fierce Spaniard in my center and an African Queen on my right. Having a soul surrounded by a body of water. Having an island of rhythmic tongues and beats inside me, behind me, in front of me, under and over me. Having a family whose blood line transcends dysfunction and battles for union. I love being the Nuyorican polychrone who functions on Caribbean island time, jibara that I am. Being Latina has given me the eyes to respect earthly thoughts and environmental balance.  I love sipping Coco Rico, listening to Coquis through telephone lines and standing in the middle of a tropical rainstorm with no umbrella. I love recognizing the smell of coconut and pineapple as long lost sisters. The flavor of tamarind, parcha and canepas call to me as harpies call the dead.   
What I love about being Americana:  Being in the center of an international Mecca. As an Americana I love being able to speak in the “heard” language, have access to the passage to higher education, self-mastery, definition and success.  Hearing Janis Joplin belt her gut out and Nina Simone wail in fury. As an Americana I love the choice for religious freedom. I love feminist support versus dominant machismo. As an Americana I have access, to almost anything.
My biggest challenge in growing up Latina in America:  Being me.
1. Moving too slow in a fast paced cold-hearted steely city, by stopping too often to smell the flowers and trace my marks in the sand or tar prints on the concrete.                       2. Learning how to teach others to pronounce my name correctly.   3. Defying the cleaning-lady persona and expectation that followed me methodically.                                      4. Fitting my ass into jeans. Fighting the temptation to buy colored contact-lenses.      5.  Conquering the ‘Sun-In’ beast, who beckoned that my hair just wasn’t fair enough.
My biggest support in growing up Latina in America:  My grandmother who moved to New York City forty nine years ago and  raised her seven children as a single mother.     Why I am beautiful:  I am beautiful because the caramel infused color brown that my flesh bears is heavy with elegance and sweetness. I am beautiful because my dark hair is residual of native people who harvested this earth with respect. I am beautiful because there is no gaze in the world like that of my brown eyes. I am beautiful because my heart is filled with compassion, empathy and a longing for peace justice and equity. I am beautiful because I have two tongues. 
 

 

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Idea Generation and Book Giveaway! Looking back at last week

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Brenda Guevara  |  September 27, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    From one Bruja to another, “YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!” So beautiful and poetic. I would add that what defines your beauty is your artistry because your art is you. I remember you twenty years ago writing a short story about my teenage crush on he-that-cannot-be named, and writing a cyrptic erotic poem by substituting each of your written words with words found in a thesaurus. Soooo cooool! I’m so happy we rekindled our friendship as women after going seperate ways as teens. See you in NYC mija!!!

    Love Brenda

    Reply
  • 2. Kathryn Grubbs  |  September 28, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    You are a beautiful, amazing, inspirational woman and I am so happy to know you!

    Reply

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In a Bookstore Near You

What does it mean to be beautiful in America? For years, pop culture has insisted that beautiful women are tall, thin, and blonde. So what do you do if your mirror reflects olive skin, raven hair, and a short build? Hijas Americanas: Beauty, Body Image, and Growing Up Latina offers a provocative account of the struggles and triumphs of Latina forced to reconcile these conflicting realities. Rosie Molinary combines her own experience with the voices of hundreds of Latinas who grew up in the US navigating issues of gender, image, and sexuality. This empathetic ethnography exemplifies the ways in which our experiences are both profoundly individualistic and comfortingly universal.
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