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Behind This Mask

Spend a day in Loiza

My blackness is embraced

Full of life and colors

Colorism in my town is not pointed out

I am Loiza, soy Latina



I decided to pick this picture because when reading stories within This Bridge Called My Back, I could not put the book down because I related so much to it. This was inspired the poem Chrystos, especially the part that says “Take this mask of bark which keeps out the evil ones”. This stood out to me because in Loiza; the members who can participate in carnivals use these colored mask, but they are not as pleasant. The reason for that from what my grandmother told me the mask was used to scare off evil. Growing up, I have always felt like I had a mask because I was afraid to show I was. However, the more I learned about my culture I embraced that my there are many women like me that also have felt pushed away and not recognized. This book is truly powerful! I love who I am and the mask that I have finally broke.