Category: Response 1



That’s what we are constantly pushed to do.

They take what’s ours out of the blue.

If only we could find a way to break through.



That’s the only thing we could do.

But do we do it? We must admit,

that we barely take action but we have to commit.


Against inequalities,

race/ethnicity, gender and stolen property.

Stand against the hypocrisy and,

dismantle the monopoly.



Don’t wish to live forever, if you’ll be living in vain.

Don’t stay tied up to an imaginary chain.

Work your way up against all costs.

and FIGHT against oppression.

Lola: Here & Now

What a feat

to acknowledge the daughters

and mothers
of a struggle for la patria
still raging on
into the future.

What an inspiration
to feel Lola in the spirit of young
and old
still pushing for la patria
with their beautiful
melodies of freedom.

What a terror
ques las calles
y los corazones
de Puerto Rico están
lleno de temores
y sin respiro.

What an amazing phenomenon
to experience my friends
and their friends
stand together
unwilling to
back down from the struggle.

no me digas
que me comporte
cuando soy más que
tú creencias porque
soy el destino de la patria
y soy la patria.


Gertrudris Barcelo and her Brothel


This is what I had in mind while reading Gertrudis Barceló’s story. A Western looking brothel like the ones you watch in movies.

By the time of her dead she was worth twice as high as wealthy Mexican-Spanish men, regardless of  her entrepreneurial skills and hard work she has always been maligned throughout history. At first, I thought she was a single women, and it kinda shocked me that her husband is barely mentioned in all of her legacy.

At some point in the reading they mentioned how “La Tules” was not criticized for gambling as much as for profiting from her business’s what interested me the most is that  these critics did come from men, but from from women who thought this was not woman’s proper behavior.

In my book Gertrudis Barceló shall remain as one of the first female entrepreneurs.


Latina Legacies

I never used to consider myself latina, but  I never got quite used to calling myself white, either. Growing up I often wouldn’t need to declare my ethnicity, for upon introducing myself to someone they would usually look me over and say “So, what are you?”

The “ethnicity question” is often too intriguing to ignore, for not one of my features is apparently easy to place on a map, so to speak. I’ve rehearsed over the course of my life to respond “My dad is Irish,” only to pause for a second to observe the raised brow of whoever I’m talking to. “…And my mom is Mexican,” I’d finish. They’d nod and say “Oh, how interesting/exotic/!” And I’d smile and give a wry chuckle.

I always perceived myself as such a mismatched physical being. I never liked how my knotty, curly hair was impossible to control and how my skin deepened into an olive-brown during the summer months. As a teenager I would straighten my hair every day and went through bouts of dyeing it red, purple, pitch black–anything to distance myself from my Mexican features.

Looking back on it, I always wanted to eliminate the aspects of myself that gave away a sense of racial ambiguity. I wanted to be a stick-thin blondie with pin-straight hair like the popular girls at school. I wished my eyes were blue like my father’s.

Like Latina Legacies pointed out, there are various identities that fall under the “latina” umbrella label. Through my own personal journey of grappling with my desire to be white and my longing to connect with my mother’s heritage has allowed me to come to a concise label for myself.

I am a latina woman, without a doubt. But I think it is important to assert that I’m a white latina because of the fact that I can so easily pass for white, even if somewhat ethnically ambiguous. There is no doubt I continue to experience privilege on behalf of that and I choose to own up to it.

But this does not negate my latina experience. My journey in learning Spanish and studying the sociopolitical aspects of Latina America and the Caribbean are some of the ways in which I am educating myself academically, while cultural education comes out of visiting my family in Mexico (which may be more difficult in these dire political times).


A woman must not be defined

by her appearance.

The color of her skin

does not define her womanhood.

Her skin does not allow you

to place her in a box.

Her womanhood is defined by

her story.


Alba Reinoso

I pick this image in particular, after reading Mirtha Quintales letter in which she stated that not all Third World women are women of color and not all women of color are really Third World. I felt particularly, identified because although I possess a light skin color, I am still a latina, I am still part of an ethnic minority, I am still a middle class woman, I still could be able to be a victim of prejudice and institutional discrimination, I still could feel isolated in this endless journey of battle for our rights, therefore I can not fight everyones battles, this journey or this bridge like kate rushin stated must be a way to find our own power, to try to find our true self, to evolve, to put away our weakness, to face our fears and to learn how to improve as a human being.



Through the various readings stories presented in This Bridge Called My Back, I notice one thing that was above all, and that was pride of being a Latina or a Black woman. I choose this picture because I believe that is the best representation of who I am as a person, not only as an Ecuadorian or as a mestiza, but as a Latina. I am proud of my roots, they represent freedom, and I am a free woman. Ecuador can be a third world country, but I am not a third world woman

 “I know what I am doing and you can’t scare me tough that’s why I am what I am” (Rosario Morales).

I can and I must tear apart all the shadows that surround me, shadows that tell me not to be proud and “move on” leaving my history and roots. I will always be a ecuatoriana orgullosa. Man can’t stop me, the world can’t stop me. The only thing that can stop me is me.


Being Latina

Stephanie Vasconcellos

Feb. 3 2017 WOM393-02 Latina Feminisms

Response 1

Within all of the readings I found a common theme of the diversity of latinidad, and how that means something completely different to each person.The diversity of latinidad is part of the reason I love my unique culture, and the unions it has with other latinxs cultures. I wrote a free verse poem on the ways that I relate to my latinidad, and how it affects my daily life.

I am a person

with the blood line and leftover DNA from multiplications


of native Tainos from the earth

European conquerers with slick smooth tongues and swords

and africans taken from our mainland

Knotted twisted coiled hair

smelling like oils and old wood smoke

Do not try to relax mi pelo abuela, the curls are the vibrations of the earth

buzzing into movement.

“Latina”, my tongue moves over the word and flashes of fetishes fill my vision.

I am not all breasts and soft hips and thighs. Pollo guisado. Brown savory liquid fills my bowls and bones. Whistled at, as if I was the moon. Squirt limon in the eyes of men who see me as another conquest. My body is not the land stolen from our people, and you will not rule here. Salty sensation.

The music does not move us, but rather we move the music. Salsa, bachata, merengue are the rhythms of our heart beats and footsteps. Bailo por un amor de la vida.

Mi primos, whole armies of people with dark brown hair and darker eyes our laughs echo not just off the mud walls of the ranchito, pero in the chambers of my heart. Tanto amor.

Hispaniola, eres mi  verdadera patria, millas de mar salada nos separan, pero siento su energía a partir de dos países distancia.

My Closure


My Closure

I guess I just want to tell you how you made me feel; how everything played out.

We were exclusive, you’re the one who wanted that. Who said that it would be like that.

You only admitted to as much you could get away with.

You claimed you felt bad, that being with more than one person was not something you did.

2 days later you said hello to her with me right there next to you.  No te importaba.

You tried so hard to hide your relation to her while simultaneously trying so hard to make her existence evident.

Everyone knew but me and you felt no guilt about it.


Regardless of whatever title we may have had or lacked, we were together.

Me and you,

You broke that…

You told me you were afraid of heartbreak…

but told everyone else you just wanted to fuck around.

When I felt paranoid about you not feeling the way you told me you felt, you made me feel crazy.

But I was right.




You never wanted me or ever cared for me but you tried to make me think otherwise.

You repeatedly lied to me and had no remorse.


That’s what hurt me. You made me believe.

I felt disrespected.

I still do.

But I don’t want to keep feeling like this

Like I have to go out of my way to hate you, ignore you, even hide from you.

Mi corazón nunca se ha sentido tan frío y espero el regreso de primavera.

I’ve never been the type of person to address my feelings.  Feelings scare me.

I haven’t addressed what happened with us and I’ve been trying to fill a void,

A void I shouldn’t even have because you did me so wrong.

I keep finding myself with guys that are just like you and I don’t want to do it anymore.

Tu eres ‪tóxico y yo no merecia tanto daño,

I’m here to get rid of that toxicity that has been in me for far too long.


I don’t want to be like my mami or my tias,

Constantly reliant upon a man

Never being able to escape,

Taking shit they don’t deserve because they have no other options.

That’s the one part of my cultura that I cannot retain.

I’m done with the machista bullshit.

Yo soy fuerte, inteligente, y no te necesito.


I decided to write about something I’ve been going through this past week and recently decided to address.  After reading the various narratives in This Bridge Called My Back, I started to notice a collection of issues that related to this.  They were not at the forefront of the themes these women were touching upon, but I still found them important.  Two issues that stood out to me were the issue of sexism by women to women and the differences in generations from mother to daughter.  I realized that I have always been taught to be inferior to men by everyone in my family, including the women.  More importantly, I have realized that my elders grew up in a different time period.  I have the opportunity and resources to separate myself from this ingrained sexism and push for the equality of myself and fellow women.

Behind My Mask

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.