"Through personal essays, criticism, interviews, testimonials, poetry, and visual art, this collection explores, as coeditor Cherríe Moraga writes, 'the complex confluence of identities--race, class, gender, sexuality--systemic to women of color oppression and liberation'"--Back cover.
And oh, goodness, was it ever.
The opening essay about 9/11 was amazing, and summed up so much of my frustration-with and horror-of the popular response. I adore Chrystos all to pieces; Luisa Teish talking about what she was doing before she started writing her spirituality books was an eye-opener; hattie gossett made me all kinds of happy; Mitsue Yamada was just yes, THAT; the big section by lesbians of color expressed some of my own frustrations with queer politics and made me keen to find a more recent anthology so I can get more insight into how things have and haven't changed since the early 80s. Plus learning and insight and transformation and grief and trust and anger and passion and oh, oh, oh!
And it gives me so much hope. Life isn't all "or", "or", "or", nor should it be. And if "your" social justice movement -- whatever it should be -- isn't finding a way to sync up with the needs of "other" social justice goals, then your movement isn't what you'd like to tell yourself it is. Oppressions may be different, but they're also interlinked, and not just by mechanism. This doesn't have to be about GroupA fighting GroupB for scraps of whatever-all. It could and should be about GroupA and GroupB carving a joint reality. You don't have to pick one.
And demanding that other people pick one, just because you did/could? No. Fail. Bad pseudo-activist. Go back to Remedial Social Justice 101, don't pass go, don't collect cookies, and don't come back until you can demonstrate basic decency.
I swear, this book felt like my first deep breath in months. That moment when your lungs open up, and the sweet, sweet air comes in, and you realize, Oh. I've been choking off my own breath and I didn't even notice.
...so, um, yeah. Hearty recommendation.