“This is a litany to those of us in this field. “What more will the Negro want?” “What will it take to make these demonstrations end?” Well, I would like to reply with another rhetorical question: Why do white people seem to find it so difficult to understand that the Negro is sick and tired of having reluctantly parceled out to him those rights and privileges which all others receive upon birth or entry in America? I never cease to wonder at the amazing presumption of much of white society, assuming that they have the right to bargain with the Negro for his freedom.”—Alex Haley’s 1965 Playboy Interview with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. - The Daily Beast (via robot-mama)
A week later, I got the same question. This time, Xavi was asleep in the stroller and we were out for a late morning walk. Two elderly women stepped to the side to let me through over a busted up section of the sidewalk.
“What do we have here?” the first one said in that high-pitched ‘it’s a baby!!!’ voice.
I stopped so she could look at Xavi. They started asking questions and commenting on his appearance. How old? His name? Oh, he’s sleeping. Oh my, so much hair! He’s adorable. As they spoke, Xavi stirred and opened up his eyes.
Oh no, they’re gonna wake him up, I thought.
“Is he yours?”
“Yes,” I said while my face screamed “of course he’s mine, you nosy dimwit!” I imagine my face gave away my feelings.
“And if it was not my mother, it was God, which is the same as mother, as are all things good that happen to you, that feeling of being loved, being looked after, that feeling of absolute safety, absolute happiness, someone’s arms around me, and feeling as if no one could ever hurt me. That was Mother. And God. Of this I am convinced.”—Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros
“To know that one does not write for the other, to know that these things I am going to write will never cause me to be loved by the one I love (the other), to know that writing compensates for nothing, sublimates nothing, that it is precisely there where you are not—this is the beginning of writing.”—Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse (via heteroglossia)
“I guess my feminism and my race are the same thing to me. They’re tied in one to another, and I don’t feel an alliance or an allegiance with upper-class white women. I don’t. I can listen to them and on some level as a human being I can feel great compassion and friendships; but they have to move from their territory to mine, because I know their world. But they don’t know mine.”—Sandra Cisneros, Chicana Feminist Thought (via mexicatiahui)
Parenting is hard. Sometimes we need to vent about it and the internet is a great place to do it. But in some ways, life-after-baby is better. Yes, better! Here are some ways my life has improved since I became a parent.
I laugh more. Parenting is hilarious. Our baby can do things that make us…
There were poems by Adrian C. Louis, a Paiute Indian, and one in particular called “Elegy for the Forgotten Oldsmobile.” If I hadn’t found this poem, I don’t think I ever would have found my way as a writer. I would have been a high school English teacher who coached basketball. My life would have taken a completely different path.
Oh, Uncle Adrian, I’m in the reservation of my mind.
At the same time, I’d never seen myself in a work of literature. I loved books, always, but I didn’t know Indians wrote books or poems. And then to see myself so fully understood in one line of a poem, as though that one line of a poem written by someone else was my autobiography … It was like understanding human language for the first time. It was like hearing the first words ever spoken by a human being, and understanding for the first time the immense communicative power of language.
I had never intellectualized this feeling that I’d had my entire life. And then, to hear the thing aloud. To see it in print. These are the kind of emotions that nobody puts words to, at least not where I’m from. So an intellectual and emotional awakening were fused in this one line. They came together and slapped me upside the head.
“Let me tell you something kid; Everybody gets one chance to do something great. Most people never take the chance, either because they’re too scared, or they don’t recognize it when it spits on their shoes.”—The Babe (the Sandlot)
[B]roader studies show that the perception of discrimination is often accompanied by a very real difference in the allotment of resources. In February 2012, the American Institute of Physics published a survey of 15,000 male and female physicists across 130 countries. In almost all cultures, the female scientists received less financing, lab space, office support and grants for equipment and travel, even after the researchers controlled for differences other than sex. “In fact,” the researchers concluded, “women physicists could be the majority in some hypothetical future yet still find their careers experience problems that stem from often unconscious bias.”