New Explorations of Girls’ Media Culture
5 This Tween Bridge over My Latina Girl Back: The U.S. Mainstream Negotiates Ethnicity Angharad N. Valdivia 93
FIve This Tween Bridge over My Latina Girl Back: The U.S. Mainstream Negotiates Ethnicity Angharad N. Valdivia How can we—this time—not use our bodies to be thrown over a river of tormented history to bridge the gap? . . . I cannot continue to use my body to be walked over to make a connection, — Cherríe Moraga, This Bridge Called My Back (xv) In 1981 Gloria Anzaldúa and Cherríe Moraga co-edited the now classic and canonical This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. Seen now as an opening salvo for cross-ethnic alliances among feminists, the book included essays by and about Chicanas, African American, Asian American, and Native American women.1 Its cover included the outline of a nude woman on all fours, whose head is cut off by the left-hand side of the book but whose back visu- ally anchors the metaphor of the bridge at the level of the body or “theory in the flesh,” the concept deployed by Moraga within the book. Twenty-eight years later, collections about women of color and lesbian women are much less unusual than Anzaldúa and Moraga’s collection was at the time of its publication.2 As a relative newcomer to the fields of Gender, Feminist, and Women’s Studies, Girls’ Stud- ies inherits this complex and intersectional history. Girls, like women, come in a range of ethnicities. It behooves Girls’ Studies scholars to remember the clarion call issued by Anzaldúa and Moraga in 1981. Whose back carries...
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