Sublime Anthology of Feminist Imagining

In 1981 Gloria Anzaldúa and Cherríe Moraga published a collection of writings by women of colour, a collective Moraga later refers to as ‘refugees of a world on fire’, with the hope that ‘young people who may first pick up this collection of poems, protests, and prayers, suddenly, without warning, feel their own consciousness catch fire.”  And this is exactly how it feels to read ‘This Bridge Called My Back’, as though a fire has caught hold of your consciousness.

I cannot recommend this anthology enough, particularly as a sublime example of intersectional feminist solidarity. And perhaps I’m romanticizing a little, knowing that today the threads of transnational solidarities, especially with South Asian and Arab communities, are stronger. But at its time, Bridge carved new space in dominant feminist discourse and remains home to some of the most eloquent and impassioned writing of the times. Voices of Gloria Anzaldúa, Cherríe Moraga, Toni Cade Bambara, Kate Rushin, Audre Lorde, Nellie Wong, Merle Woo, Mitsuye Yamada, Naomi Littlebear Morena, Rosario Morales, and many more mapped the intersecting ways in which gender, race, sexuality, class, and ability affect our experiences of home, migration, motherhood, citizenship and love.

In the 2015 edition, Cherríe Moraga writes:

“As women both near and far from home fight impossible battles, that they should never have had to fight to begin with, I’m overwhelmed with the feeling of when does this end. When do we learn. And I look at collections like Bridge, and the writings of our foremothers, as maps to a different world made of love and fire.”  

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